Interstellar | Film Review
If something can go wrong, it will go wrong.
At least that’s what Murphy’s Law, the oft quoted and somewhat clichéd phrase, suggests. But in “Interstellar,” Christopher Nolan’s ambitious new space odyssey, Murphy’s law is revised to state that anything that can happen will happen, and in the case of this film, it’s true. When Interstellar is good, it is exceptionally so. But when it has the possibility of falling short of the grand expectations thrust upon it, it misses the mark in the most crucial of moments. Despite this, “Interstellar” travels to the furthest reaches of space and film, yet its flaws prevent it from being truly stellar.
“Interstellar” chronicles the journey of former NASA pilot and current farmer Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) on an Earth where catastrophic dustbowls are common worldwide and the only chance for human survival is to find a hospitable planet in a distant galaxy for humans to colonize. Cooper finds his way onto the mission to travel through a wormhole with fellow astronauts Amelia Brand (Anne Hathaway), Romilly (David Gyasi) and Doyle (Wes Bentley) as they explore foreign planets for signs of hospitable environments to human life, while on Earth Brand’s father (Michael Caine) as well as Cooper’s daughter Murph (Jessica Chastain) work to further facilitate the success of the mission.
The things “Interstellar” gets right are done with extreme care of detail and precision. Most notably, science buffs will jump with glee at how scientifically accurate the film is. Nolan and others of the film team consulted with many physicists in order to make sure all the minute details of time travel were theoretically plausible. Popular scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson even took to Twitter to boast about the film’s scientific accuracy (something he couldn’t say about “Gravity”).
Additionally, the compelling performance from McConaughey alone brings waves of humanity and emotion to the film, only added to by the rest of the talented cast while the intricate puzzle element of the film’s plot is enough to dazzle any science fiction fan. Plus, every shot is breathtakingly beautiful.
But despite these merits, “Interstellar” still suffers from plot pacing issues and sometimes shallow character development. Most glaringly, however, the film at times falls into the trap of telling rather than showing. Instead of finding a clever way to lead the audience towards making a logical conclusion about the plot, “Interstellar” spells it out at some points, which takes away from the artistic appeal of the film.
“Interstellar” may not be “A 2001 Space Odyssey,” and while more scientifically accurate than “Gravity” falls short of the same artistic excellence. Still, it’s a fun puzzle movie, and at the end of the day that’s what Christopher Nolan does. And while it may not be the best Christopher Nolan film, it’s still a Christopher Nolan film, and that should be enough for you to take a trip into deep space and give this film a chance.