Interstellar ★★★

When it comes to Christopher Nolan I’m one of the few people in the middle. Meaning I don’t think he’s the great auteur of our generation, yet I don’t get too heated about thinking he’s overrated like most others. I just like him. He’s made quite a few good movies, even excellent movies, which are worth watching. Is he a little overrated? Yeah, he kind of is, but I also think he’s a talented director, who can be particulate with detail and technical skill, and has a knack for giving the audience a true experience. Out of all the directors working today, I’m honestly glad that he is able to rake in so many average audiences to see his original, and creative work. He’s not my favorite working director today, and I kind of wish others whom I love more had his level of success, but I’m glad that a non-hack, truly inventive director, is where he’s at right now.

As for his common issues, yeah, the over-explaining and endless dialogue of information is a major flaw with his films. Before, while I acknowledged this problem, I never made too much of a big deal out of it; however, this is the first film where Nolan’s tropes really started to bother me. This film feels like 2001 without the ambiguity. It doesn’t let you think for yourself, and instead force feeds you through dialogue what you’re supposed to be learning. “Why does my name have to be Murphy?” “It’s Murphy’s Law! It means what can happen will happen” Just endless conversation on how space works, and what this means and Matthew McConaughey drawling context for what we’re supposed to be interpreting. This was my biggest issue of the movie, and it was hard for me to feel absorbed in this adventure, when I wasn’t allowed to experience any of it myself.

Not only that but the constant yammering made it a rather dull experience. It was full of just people talking about what was happening, or what ridiculous plot point was changing now, and I really can’t get invested in that. If the conversations were a little more meaningful and focused on the emotions, and the dynamics, I would’ve enjoyed that more, but no this is a Nolan thinking movie! A film for the true intellectuals!

And of course there’s the ridiculous ‘love conquers all’ cliché. If this was handled differently, I wouldn’t mind. That emotion is a pure essence of the universe, that it’s something that we can’t explain, but unfortunately, this movie wants to explain everything! Even this dumb plot point. I could’ve swayed more toward it if it was a little subtle, but the film isn’t interested in doing that either. When you leave room for thought, it lets the audience think more about your movie. It lets them process it long after they saw it and quite possibly love it more, the more they think about it. ‘Was that love that saved our protagonist?’ ‘Perhaps there’s more to the universe, than just a big vast of indifferent nothingness and vacuum.’ How would you like it if at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Bowman just blurts out “This is the room I grew up in. It’s all about rebirth, and the universe is actually just a mystical renaissance painting” Speaking of rooms can we talk about that scene? Where Matthew McConaughey ends up behind the shelf of his daughters room? That’s just where the tesseract randomly sent him? Defenders say “Oh because it’s his daughter, he loves her! He’s her ghost!” I know but why? Why this specific spot? There’s no good reason for it, it doesn’t make any sense.

The cast also surprised me. John Lithcow, Ellen Burstyn, Matt Damon, Casey Affleck, Timothee Chalamet, are among the actors that aren’t even billed on the front which confused me. But I will say they were all really good. The only one I had a problem with occasionally was McConaughey. Yeah, I know we’re supposed to love everything he does now, but I didn’t always like him in this. He ranges from a generic hero, to drawling on tediously about space and science. However whenever he had to emote he came off very strongly. The scene in which he watches his daughter grow up in her videos is a truly heartbreaking one, and is McConaughey’s highest moment in the film for me. I did like his performance I just had issues with it much like this movie.

With that said, I still think this is a good movie. Despite its major flaw that drags it down, I would say there’s plenty of great things: The visuals are fantastic as are the effects. Among other practical technicality, the editing, the music, are all great, and Nolan knows how to really combine these to create a scene of tension and build suspense, which I felt quite a few times. The film still manages to present some great ideas and explore interesting themes of the universe even in all its cluttered speeches. The different planets were fascinating to see and fun to explore. “Interstellar” does some interesting things with the concept of time, like the aforementioned tragic scene.

One other thing some have been noticing about Nolan’s films, is that they kind of lose their power when not viewed on the big screen. Without the surround sound and large screen, the experience is minimized a little bit.

I pretty much liked everything about “Interstellar” except for the tedious dialogue, but that takes up such a great chunk of the film that it’s kind of a major issue to me. Overall Interstellar will give you an experience, just not a significantly impactful one. I wasn’t all that affected by it and I believe it was the constant talking, in place of a unique atmosphere, that really hurt it. However the film has some incredible moments that have blown people away, and I applaud it for that. It certainly didn’t move me a whole lot, but I’m glad ‘diet 2001: A Space Odyssey’ worked so well for you!


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