How to convey, in 300 words or more, what Interstella is about I came to the conclusion that it was probably best not to write about it – or just to tell you to just go watch it (definitely do the latter). Well now that I’ve had a bit to mull it over, I think I’m more than capable of giving it the few lines of assessment it deserves.
Director: Christopher Nolan Writer(s): Christopher Nolan and John Nolan Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Bill Irwin, Ellen Burstyn, Michael Caine, Mackenzie Foy and more…
Some time in the 40 year-or-so future, Earth is running out of food. The world needs farmers to man the land; a land that is slowly rejecting all vegetation and crops at an increasingly alarming rate. With the combined threat of sandstorms and starvation threatening to wipe out human existence in the next few decades, a secret NASA operation to find the human race a new ‘home’ is imminent.
Enter Cooper (Matthew McConaughey on continued good form), one of those trying to live by the world’s dismal regulations that values farmers over any other aspiration. Frustratingly for Cooper, he’s never had a chance to put his Engineering and Pilot skills to use. He spends his days growing corn crops, cleaning sand off his porch and living for his two kids, Tommy and Murph (breakout performance from Mackenzie Foy). Murph is Cooper’s totem, stubborn, conscientiously smart and brave – she is her father’s daughter, so much so that when Cooper is called in to discuss her unfavorable beliefs, it is he that ends up getting her suspended.
After a series of oddities: a rogue flying object (not the Signs kind), pseudo–paranormal activities that throw books from shelves and create elaborate coded messages (or so Murph believes) and the discovery of a top-secret NASA space station; Cooper is soon enlisted as part of a small team of explorers (including Anne Hathaway, David Gyasi and Wes Bentley) and an affable robot system called TARS to find and collect data to gage whether life outside of Earth is possible. There is a plan b… they venture too far to return, then there is enough sperm to inseminate and restart a new human race. When Murph asks Cooper when he’s coming back in a tearful and gravely upsetting exchange between the onscreen father and daughter, Cooper is loath to lie to her – he tells her he’s coming back – but with time being relative (everyone knows time is relative out in space Cooper!) what may be a year or so to him – could be decades on Earth.
With enough thrilling action sequences and breathtaking compositions of space (the black hole should go down in film history as one of the best CGI creations) on aesthetics alone, it shouldn’t be missed. I was inclined to keep comparing it to what M.Night Shyamalan’s, Signs (though a personal favourite of mine) – but this would be a disservice to both films, because though there are superficial but definite similarities, they are wholly different in context. It’s a beautiful story with human perseverance and love at its core – a message that is consistent in Nolan’s films. He loves exploring why we do the things we do and the loopholes in which our choices define certain outcomes. It’s existential, yes, and at times the science language was difficult to follow and overwhelming at times, but in the way science and discussing life beyond what we know, whilst still retaining some sort of realism, can only be. Accompanied by another all-encompassing score composed by the maestro, Hans Zimmer, it’s a cinema goer’s dream.
Christopher Nolan has created a stunning cinematic marvel, placing himself in the league of Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg, James Cameron and Ridley Scott. Interstellar is hands down one of the most beautiful movies I have seen on the big screen.