Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Interstellar - space exploration Earth drama

My comments may contain spoilers.

The Earth is quickly becoming uninhabitable and a group of explorers embark on an interstellar voyage into the unknown via a wormhole in search of a planet that can sustain life.

Directed by Christopher Nolan Interstellar is stunning, thoughtful and magnificently written with an edge of intellect. Where as the comparable visual Gravity (2013) was lite on plot Nolan's latest manages a good mix of both.

There's a great supporting cast including the likes of John Lithgow and Ellen Burstyn, both Matt Damon and Topher Grace are notable. There is a fantastic performance from Matthew McConaughey who plays Coop a pilot that has the future of human race in his hands and is desperate to see his children again. Michael Caine plays professor Brand a NASA physicist tasked with saving mankind. Caine is perfectly cast, emotionally excelling in the role. Jessica Chastain is fantastic as Coop's daughter who he leaves behind.

Flipping between the drama on Earth and the Endurance's mission beyond our solar system, amongst the excellent special effects there's an abundance of emotion between the characters. Written by Jonathan and Christopher Nolan the narrative on paper may sound kitschy but it's executed with believability and for the majority feels very grounded in reality which is reinforced by the great sets and on the location feel. There are some great set-ups, the dangerous docking, the tsunami water planet and harsh ice planet segments are particularly memorable.

It's unnecessary lengthy but well paced, moments are reminiscent of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Contact (1997), Moon (2009) and Silent Running (1972) including an intriguingly designed robot (voiced here by Bill Irwin). The sound design is outstanding and you listen to what the characters hear in their helmets at times and there's the silence of space while explosions grace the screen. Much of the film is complemented by Hans Zimmer's great score.

With a twist and surprise ending like Nolan's underrated Insomnia it is sentimental, tugging at the heart strings. All the sci-fi elements space exploration and seemingly an extraterrestrial beings aside at its core is a father and daughter relationship. Highly recommend.

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