I saw Christopher Nolan’s latest epic on 35mm in the recently restored Egyptian Theater on Capitol Hill in Seattle last night and it was…intense. I cannot think of a better word to describe this film. First of all, let me warn you that this dystopic future piece is three hours long. However, it kept my attention the entire film unlike other hero movies that leave me bored around the two hour mark, but I still think they could have cut a lot and it still would have had the same impact. Nonetheless, if you’re a fan of Nolan and his score heavy, plot/logic twisting style, you’ll love this film.
I won’t divulge an entire summary of the plot but it does provide an appropriate vehicle for the McConnaissance leading into the next Oscar season. A widower family man leaves Earth to save the world and his family only to find impossible odds. The narrative is nothing new to moviegoers but the cinematography is spectacular. In the vein of last year’s Gravity, in fact, that scientific concept is the driving force of Interstellar, coincidence? Doubtful. I’ve read a few articles online that the C.G. black hole in the film is very scientifically accurate – just a nugget for those astroscience nerds out there.
Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Jessica Chastain, Matt Damon, and Casey Affleck star in this film. If McConaughey and his down home colloquialisms annoy you, don’t bother seeing this in the theater, because the main character is an amusing combo of his classic Texan persona with a twist of serious actor and he’s in 90% of the film. Although I’m not a huge fan of Hathaway, her character isn’t major enough to ruin anything and Jessica Chastain’s performance overshadows all other female roles. As for Matt Damon, he’s a villain and an obstacle to the fateful hero, but the entire audience laughed as he was introduced on screen. Why? The only reason I can come up with is because of Team America. I can’t see this actor without that line, “Matt Damon” running through my mind. It is so hard to take him seriously.
One big thing I did not enjoying during the film: the sound. The overall film score was like an emotionally abusive boyfriend screaming in your ear to feel what he’s feeling no matter how irrational or extreme. I don’t respond well to heavy-handed emotional manipulation so I only had one brief teary moment during the entire film when there were at least 5 big tear-jerking scenes. Nolan is known for his ominous scores but this one actually distracted and often disrupted the diegetic sound and dialogue thus leaving the audience saying, “Huh?”
The story as a whole is long, complicated, emotionally overwrought, scientifically compelling but ultimately a bit much. There was so much going on in the film that it took an hour to tie up all the loose ends. Personally, I prefer films that end on a semi-ambiguous note and this one did not. It was too neat. Considering the magnitude of the story, I felt that more could have been left up to the audience to resolve in their own imaginations.
Overall, I enjoyed the film but it had plenty of flaws, however, it’s worth seeing in the theater if for no other reason than experiencing the cinematography. I give the film three and a half out of five spectacles.