Saturday, 28 November 2015

I've Just Seen: Interstellar (2014)

Interstellar (2014)

Director: Christopher Nolan

After watching Interstellar, my main thought was 'I wish I had seen that on the big screen.' I had a similar reaction to Inception, so clearly the next Nolan film that comes out is going to mean a trip to the movies. The visuals that Nolan has put on screen in this film are pretty impressive, even on my television screen, but I know that details were lost. The wonderfully beautiful shots of the spaceship flying past Saturn are worth watching the film for, and reminded me of Kubrick's 2001 (another film I wish I had seen on a big screen).

As Nolan usually does, he has gathered a cast of good actors who add depth to the story. Mackenzie Foy is fantastic as Murphy, out-acting everyone else in the film. Her goodbye scene with McConaughey is the most affecting in a film that is ripe with emotional conversations and goodbyes.

I would not count myself as a Nolan fan-person; I have appreciated his movies, but have not yet been bowled over by them. Memento is still the best of his that I have seen, as it showed his ability to handle a highly complex story, whose structure encourages the audience to figure it out for themselves. The problems I had with Interstellar are also the problems I had with Inception: the abundance of exposition. I got lost several times in both films, as characters stopped to explain things to each other, often too quickly for me to quite figure out how it all fitted together. Perhaps it is a reflection on me, and that I should re-watch both films in order to hear what I missed (something that I certainly shall do), but I find it rather frustrating that someone who is so adept with his visuals still resorts to heavy exposition to further the story.

Of course, part of the problem with Interstellar's exposition is that it discusses science that is very much over the head of this Arts student. The time-travelling and time bending parts were the most coherent for me; the idea of one hour on a planet equalling 7 years on the ship was intriguing and the way Nolan used familial relationships to convey time's passage was very good. However, I was bamboozled by the blackhole, and couldn't help but think 'Really?' at the answer to the mystery at the film's centre.

Science fiction is one of my favourite genre, and while this didn't knock my socks off, I enjoyed many parts of the ride, and found the amount of actual science in the story interesting. Hopefully one day the practice of re-issuing films in cinemas will become fashionable again in Australia, and I will get the opportunity to see this in all its projected glory, with a greater understanding of exactly what is going on.


  1. I get your point. In this sort of movies I need subtitles as a crutch to be sure I get the essential dialogue pat down. Rushed dialogue in a noise environment tend to blur and when those items discussed belong in the realm of advanced science I am just lost. I saw this in the theater and felt lost so many times (I am not able to read the subtitles in the cinemas here). Often I only realized later they were talking about and only after asking my wife.
    That said this is a spectacular movie and I actually did not have a problem with the resolution. It works for me. Loved the scenes with the school teachers, convinced that the lunar landings were fiction. Hilarious.

    1. In defence, my reaction to the ending was more down to my lack of comprehension regarding much of the science than it actually being poor. I do prefer 2001, perhaps because things just happen, and it is up to me to make sense of it, rather than being provided explanations that make me go 'wha?'

      You are right, though, the film looks spectacular, and the breadth of its scope is gasp-inducing at times.