Review: Interstellar

Interstellar (Dir.: Christopher Nolan; Cast: Mathew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine et al.)

Warning: This review may contain spoilers!

 

Interstellar is the latest offering from the modern master Christopher Nolan. After finishing with the Batman saga in his last offering, The Dark Knight Rises, Nolan now ventures beyond the terra firma. And in Interstellar, Nolan breaks new ground, both in terms of the vastness of outer space and the unknown territories of the human heart.

Interstellar is essentially a story of man’s travel across space in search of a new home. But it is also a drama spanning generations. Like The Godfather II, for a period of time, Interstellar too shuffles between two parallel tracks of two generations of a family battling their own battles – each in their own arena. Like in case of the two Corleone generations, the two battlefields here are also vastly different for the two generations. And the focus here too is on the lessons passed on from one generation to the next and the utility/ futility of those.

If memory serves me right, this is Nolan’s first film to feature one character lecturing another on love. This, along with more than one poignant father-daughter interactions, make Interstellar one of Nolan’s closest brushes with human drama unadulterated by hints of suspense. I was looking forward to Nolan exploring this area of the filmmaking universe for some time now and hence these are my favourite bits from this sci-fi thriller-drama.

Nolan has already proved himself capable of striking awe in terms of visual splendours and creating worlds different from our own humdrum ones. Hence, it is no surprise that he repeats that trick successfully once again in Interstellar. The visuals bear fleeting resemblance to the dream worlds in the Inception and the plot structure isn’t entirely novel too, bearing some resemblance to one of Nolan’s past cult works (hint: warp).

But it is finally in Nolan’s attempt at exploring the human sensitivities with more care than ever before which is the most promising aspect of Interstellar. Because it signals an expansion of Nolan’s repertoire and holds out the promise that his best may be yet to come.

Mathew McConaughey delivers a measured, restrained performance in the lead role and there are fine guest appearances from a number of others. TARS and CASE deserve a special mention, for the best “performances” as non-human actors, perhaps the best since HAL!

In conclusion: while Interstellar may not yet bring Nolan his first Academy award, it will still be remembered as a stellar piece of work in its own right which marks a growth in not just the director’s prowess but the vision of present-day cinema in general – to imagine far ahead on the platform of existing science.

Interstellar IMDb Link

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