Interstellar“We’ve forgotten who we are.”

Interstellar presents thought-provoking cinema about space travel, dimensional elements, and other physical/technological elements. Audiences experience several unique situations and exciting moments thanks to a high quality film production lead by director Christopher Nolan.

This sci-fi film explores the unknown without manipulating the audiences or dousing them with too many complex terms or political posturing. Filmmakers strike an extraordinary balance with the audience in storytelling that often matches perfectly. You will likely ask the same questions the characters ask at almost the same time.

Nolan and his talented crew, including co-screenwriter Jonathan Nolan, initiate the plot with a narrative element that can comfort audiences before trekking on this long, worth-while journey. This brother duo (The Dark Knight Rises, Memento) aims for new frontiers and succeeds with a strong original experience

The all important human elements really shine through as the filmmakers hard work comes to fruition. They make deep consideration for the content and audience. The running time is an automatic discriminator for some audiences who won’t sit through sci-fi for approximately two hours and 49 minutes. Those audiences who watch this quality film will not be disappointed.

Filmmakers focus a considerable amount on relationships and even ideas on love without losing focus on the high concept elements and surprises. An important plot device is added to address an important issue involving this important survival of the human race that basically eliminates any potential distractions about character relationships.

Many plot devices rose with coordinating consultants including theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, so presented anomalies and societal priorities would have credibility with the audience. Filmmakers also concentrate more on intelligence than survival though that point is certainly stressed, especially near the end of this 169-minute film.

The characters, especially Cooper, deliver though provoking questions that prompt audience involvement, but also often correctly anticipate questions in logic and continuity that they might have like why a large agency didn’t seek out a talented pilot before he encountered them seemingly by chance.

The traditional, documentary-style cinematography from matches the strong human element well.

On a personal level, I found two elements that connected extremely well – it pays off to question everything and there is nothing like real experience beyond a simulated media.

There is not much time for deep character development in a high concept film, but there is enough here. Matthew McConaughey stars as Cooper a farmer and talented pilot living with his son Tom, first played by Timothée Chalamet, and daughter Murphy or “Murph”, first played by rising star Mackenzie Foy (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn). Casey Affleck plays the adult Tom and Jessica Chastain shines on multiple levels in a difficulty role as the adult Murph. John Lithgow plays Cooper’s father-in-law and understands Cooper’s desires.

Cooper is a credible voice of reason and is willing and able to use his considerable skills. “It may not be graceful, but it’s efficient,” Cooper says. Filmmakers simultaneously develop audience perspectives and the widower Cooper’s family environment in ways that everyone can open their minds beyond normal life experiences.

Professor Brand (Michael Caine), Amelia (Anne Hathaway), and Romilly (David Gyasi) expand the film’s constructed world. The action expands once the sequences in space begin and do not always put the characters in the driver’s seat. Sometimes they have to just “record and observe” some incredible events.

Interstellar also presents some advanced, durable robotics with Tony Award winner Bill Irwin (Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas) voicing TARS and Josh Stewart voicing CASE. Other co-stars include Topher Grace, Wes Bentley, David Oyelowo Matt Damon, and Ellen Burstyn.

Cinematographer (a.k.a. Director of Photography) Hoyte Van Hoytema (Her, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) impresses with amazing visuals using documentary-style lighting that adds some impressive realism.

Composer Hans Zimmer’s amazing musical score draws unavoidable comparisons to other famous sci-fi scores ( 2001: A Space Odyssey, Contact, Gravity), especially when you hear the memorable organ movements and editor Lee Smith, a frequent collaborator with Christopher Nolan paces the film very well while incorporating effective sequences in silence.

I usually don’t mention other films directly unless I’m providing other works from the cast and crew, but Gravity definitely deserves some recognition here from “priming” the space sci-fi cinema “pump”. Interstellar owes them some credit for their success though Warner Brothers wisely co-invested in this film as well (they co-produced Gravity) along with Paramount. Highly recommended (***1/2 out of four stars).

Copyright © Michael Siebenaler

This entry was posted in 2010s Film Reviews, Film Reviews and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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