Published on November 9th, 2014 | by admin
Interstellar IMAX Review
Reviewed by Andrew Bistak on November 9th, 2014
Roadshow Films presents a film by Christopher Nolan
Written by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan
Produced by Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan and Lynda Obst
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine
Music by Hans Zimmer
Cinematography: Hoyte van Hoytema
Edited by Lee Smith
Running Time: 170 minutes
Release Date: November 6th, 2014
Christopher Nolan’s ambitious sci-fi epic Interstellar is indeed a strange film that successfully injects science into the story but relies on the Deus Ex Machina of an unknown power to steer its journey. This is not to say that Interstellar is a bad film but it’s definitely one of those films where you need to leave your criticism at the door when it comes to believability and it doesn’t help that the script feels quite disjointed either. The film also has some parallels to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey which you can see with some of the links to its visuals.
The story of Interstellar is a simple one, set in the near future that seems mankind living on the brink of destruction as the planet can no longer sustain life. As the world has returned to an agrarian way of life, NASA has discovered a wormhole that has been purposely created by some unknown entity or entities just near Saturn. The initial probes and astronauts who have gone through the wormhole have discovered three potential planets that may hold the future of the human race.
The protagonist of the film is Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), a former astronaut of NASA now farmer, living with his two children, ten year old daughter Murph (Mackenzie Foy) and 15-year old teenage son Tom (Timothée Chalamet) plus his father in-law Donald (John Lithgow). However one night changes not just their future but also the destiny of mankind when Murph believes that their farmhouse is haunted. As Cooper is a scientist, he challenges Murph to gather the evidence and upon further investigation, it seems that this “ghost” has been trying to communicate with them who gives them the coordinates to some place on Earth.
Upon investigating these coordinates, it leads Cooper and Murph to a hidden NASA base where they discover that Professor Brand (Michael Caine) and his scientists have been working on two plans to save humanity. One plan revolves around the exodus of mankind to one of those habitable worlds and the other plan involves the colonisation of human embryos that will mean mankind on Earth will die. As Cooper was an “ace” pilot, he is quickly convinced by Professor Brand to embark on this mission in an attempt to save his family and the planet.
Joined by a small crew of scientists that include Professor Brand’s daughter “Brand” (Anne Hathaway), Doyle (Wes Bently), Romily (David Gyasi) and a robot by the name of TARS (Bill Irwin), these three astronauts hold the future of humanity in their hands as they enter the wormhole and end up in another galaxy. However things quickly deteriorate and to compound the situation, a black hole near one of these planets causes time to move considerably slower and their brief visit to planet means that Cooper’s Children Morph (Jessica Chastain) and Tom (Casey Affleck) are almost the same age as him.
This also where the problems begin as Nolan heavily relies on science theory to push the story along. Sure, most of these theories are possible but this is not a documentary that we’re watching but rather a sci-fi epic and it is also where things become disjointed. Most characters are 2 dimensional and the film leaves McConaughey carrying the entire script, especially the haphazard editing that skitters around the story.
On IMAX, some of the scenes look quite spectacular, whereas others look like something out of a 70’s sci-fi and given the epic scope of Interstellar, the visuals needed to be on this scale as well. The soundtrack of Interstellar is interesting but Hans Zimmer fails, especially with the church organ sound that gets louder and louder throughout the film which did affect the sound mixing.
However where Nolan does succeed is through the emotional journey of the viewer such as the characters Cooper and Murph who are quite likeable and you really want to see them reunited. Sure, it’s a sci-fi journey but it’s also the relationship of a father and his daughter through time and although some of the deaths were easily predicated in the film, I was actually pleasantly surprised from the ending. But to really enjoy Interstellar, you do need to leave your disbelief at the door.