Friday, November 7, 2014

INTERSTELLAR Review- Jonesy's Take

Directed by Christopher Nolan
Written by Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Wes Bentley, Jessica Chastain, Mackenzie Foy, and Michael Caine.
Synopsis: Humans must explore other worlds as the earth slowly becomes inhabitable.

Whenever a filmmaker decides to tackle space where the plot relies heavy on science that's above most of our heads, the results could be a catastrophe. It's easy to mess up or the plot could get too bogged down with exposition dialogue and could completely lose the audience. However, Nolan was able to (mostly) overcome this obstacle and create his most visually stunning film to date.

In the future, food is becoming scarce, and the world is slowly being engulfed by dust. The earth is dying, and instead of trying to save the world, a very skeleton version of NASA is sending explorers out to find a new and habitable world for the human race to survive. Nolan does an amazing job of not bombarding us with an exposition dump to set up the world. Instead, the status quo is established with natural conversations between the characters. Once the plot shifts into the more science heavy part, there's a little more exposition parts, but it never felt tedious or excessive.

At two hours and 40 minutes, this film is quite lengthy. Thankfully the bulk of the film follows the space exploration and it never feels overlong. It's a film that definitely needs to be experienced in the theaters. The space visuals are some of the most breathtaking visuals on the big screen this year. It's easy to get lost in the wonder of space, and Nolan has the ability to make the audience feel so small in comparison to our universe.

What makes this film stand out are the characters, especially the relationship between Cooper (McConaughey) and his daughter, Murphy (Foy). At the heart of the film, it's about a man trying to solidify a future for his daughter's generation but especially his family. And the only way for him to make sure they have a future is to leave them behind and possibly never see them again. McConaughey brilliantly portrays this struggle of trying to fulfill his mission to save the people of earth and surviving to make it back to his children. Foy, who plays young Murphy, is phenomenal. She has such presence on screen, and the relationship between her and McConaughey brings such a realness to this sci-fi heavy film.

Even with not as many action sequence as you might have anticipated, the film is enthralling. There are two sequences which have you on the edge of your seat holding your breath. Then the last twenty minutes happen. At this point, you're either completely with the film or this sequence will take you out of the experience completely. The action takes a more fantastical turn, and it just set it too much over the edge. Another issue is some of the dialogue. While the script does a decent job of not overly explaining the rules of the world in the beginning, it ends up overly explaining the themes, which gets tiresome.

INTERSTELLAR is not Nolan's best film, but it's one of his more ambitious. He has taken human's fascination with space and the unknown and created an enthralling tale of survival that must be experience in theatres.

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