With all the memorable movies Christopher Nolan has made, one would think it’s hard for him to outdo himself. The visionary director, however, brings us another twist, as he delivers a movie like almost nothing we’ve seen before. Interstellar, obviously inspired by Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, has a genre of its own, as it brings us a whole bunch of elements that add up to become an absolute masterpiece, and Nolan’s best work to date.
The movie follows the story of Cooper (Mathew McConaughey), an engineer-turned-farmer, and Murph (Jessica Chastain), his daughter, as he agrees to leave a dying Earth to explore a faraway galaxy in search of a new home.
Interstellar isn’t your average Hollywood space flick, for it is built on actual scientific content, theories and facts. Unlike most sci-fi movies, Interstellar tackles a whole bunch of physics principles, from gravity to relativity to string theory, but remains accessible by the audience. In fact, Nolan integrates just the right amount of science into his movie to give it the edge it needs to become what it is, all while teaching the audience the basic concepts to understand what’s happening.
Science, however, is not the only theme Interstellar revolves around as the movie equally focuses on human emotion. The relationship between Cooper and Murph is that of any human being who holds someone dear, and the phrases, sentiments and reactions they share tell the story of love, regret, and forgiveness. And as the movie goes back and forth from Earth to a foreign galaxy, we learn that human nature follows us no matter how far we get from home.
To make that last part possible, a good script alone wouldn’t have been enough and talented performers were needed. Starting with the supporting cast and going all the way to the leads, each and every one of the actors involved in Interstellar manages to depict his character flawlessly and Mathew McConaughey shines once more as he proves that an Oscar simply isn’t enough for him.
The final element Interstellar needed was aesthetic beauty. With the help of the man behind the gorgeous cinematography we loved in Her, Hoyte Van Hoytema, Nolan illustrates space like we’ve never seen it before. People will have to experience it for themselves, but the imagery in Interstellar is truly a work of art. That, mixed with a Hans Zimmer score, results in one of the most visually captivating movies to date.
Finally, Interstellar’s best feature lies in the mystery Nolan builds. Venturing between a dying planet and an unknown galaxy, secrets are revealed and conclusions are made. Nolan doesn’t force anything on the audience, letting each of us build his own perception of the movie. Whether it was about the science, the philosophy, or the human nature, Interstellar is an invitation to contemplate, and later discuss. And to help the audience achieve that, the movie slows down at one point – a detail some may not appreciate or even dislike- before going crazy again.
Nolan, although inspired by Kubrick, does not follow in the latter’s footsteps. Instead, he remains true to his own style and merges it with the right amount of science, visuals, character, philosophy and emotion to bring us an impeccably built Nolanesque space epic that will go down in history as one of this decade’s greatest cinematic achievements.
Rating: 9.75/10. A masterful trip through space-time and human emotion and one of the decade’s greatest cinematic achievements.