Clay VS Classic: Interstellar

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The wait is almost over. We were hopeful that Nolan’s latest project was going to see its initial release date but alas, like many this year, the pandemic forced us to hold out for a little while longer. But before finally diving into the long awaited release of Nolan’s Tenet, I thought now would be the best time to visit a high profiled movie from his filmography that I hadn’t yet seen. Interstellar.

The reactions I receive when I tell people that I haven’t seen what is often considered Nolan’s best (top tier level minimum), are that of shock and confusion giving my admiration not only for the industry, but also Nolan as a filmmaker. It was time that came to an end.

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Nolan’s space shot spectacle, stars Matthew McConaughey as an ex-NASA pilot turned corn farmer. In the future, Earth is becoming uninhabitable, and McConaughey is brought back into the space expedition world when he is tasked to lead a group of underground researchers, to solve Earth’s expiry crisis.

This however comes at a huge cost. With no chance of life available within our solar system, this requires an expedition unlike any attempted before. Achieving which, will alter the course of time and if they make it back to Earth, it will be further into the future.

This is Nolan’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. In that it’s arguably his most ambitious and thoroughly, well thought out concept yet. But also perhaps the hardest to sit through and maybe won’t have the same impact when you’ve already seen the events unfold once.

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Nolan is a master of his craft. He continuously pushes the boundaries of what is possible. Not only from a technical stand point, but also and perhaps more importantly, narratively speaking also.

In most circumstances, it doesn’t require a degree in rocket science in order to understand a movie’s premise, but with Interstellar, it would certainly help if you did. You often find yourself getting lost in its mesmerising aura, throwing one stunning set piece at you after another, that many of its major plot points get lost in translation.

I found some of its pacing to be rather choppy, and even with a runtime nearing the three hour mark, an awful lot of its narrative and script structure feels bloated. I caught myself on multiple occasions checking how much time was left not necessarily out of boredom, but whenever it felt like it was reaching its climax, there was something new to tell.

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McConaughey however was never dull to watch. Perhaps one of his more singularly greatest accomplishments was starring in this modern classic. The anguish in his mission is clear, his survival is of the upmost importance and the love for his children (more so, his daughter Murphy) is his driving ambition. McConaughey steals every scene with tremendous power and unrivalled professionalism.

Accompanying him on his life altering quest is Amelia Brand (Anne Hathaway). Daughter to a NASA professor (Michael Caine), with the same dedication to the preservation of life as her father. Amelia has more reason to join the expedition than is initially let on, and the stakes are just as high for her as the rest of the crew sent on the voyage.

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What was to be expected, Interstellar’s visual department is nothing short of jaw dropping. Cinematic bliss, that manages to make any of Nolan’s previous work look tame in comparison. Every frame is shot perfectly and the colours are likely to drag your eyes out of your sockets. It’s a visual feast that will demand you to find a single fault in its alluring presence.

Whilst arguably not his strongest in terms of narrative competency, it’s incredibly ambitious and the final third will have you completely hooked. Interstellar is the sort of movie that you may only want to see once in your lifetime, but make sure it’s at least once, because films as stunning as this are not to be ignored.

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