Thought-provoking, heart-wrenching, and thematically powerful, Interstellar is Christopher Nolan’s finest achievement. It’s set in a future in which crop blights and dust storms threaten humanity’s survival, and follows a group of astronauts on a daring mission to enter a wormhole in the hopes of finding a new home for mankind…
Nolan crafts something memorable with Interstellar; a film that takes its ambitious central theme of love and creates a profound story around it, simultaneously huge and intimate in scope: the unshakeable bond between father and child that could save the human race. And it’s executed to perfection, with a bold and emotionally rewarding, metaphysical finale that stays true to this theme at the cost of perhaps dividing the audience.
Matthew McConaughey delivers a career-best performance as Cooper, a widowed engineer and former NASA pilot who is drawn into mankind’s greatest endeavour. He’s an explorer who doesn’t belong on a dying planet, and he’s destined for the stars. McConaughey brings all the emotion required to help sell his character’s actions. The hopes and dreams of a future rest on Cooper’s shoulders, and he’s constantly tested throughout in perilous situations that have dire repercussions for himself and others; and he’s unwaveringly faithful to his tenets and his children.
Interstellar masterfully sets up its crucial mission, and it delivers all kinds of feelings that stem from real-world concerns surrounding fate and choice. The existential elements are always at the forefront of the script, and once the film throws us into the vast vacuum of space it elicits feelings of awe and dread in equal measure. When the characters approach a wormhole, I felt as apprehensive as them, as if it was really happening – and not many films can engross me to this extent.
This is aided by sensational special effects that are as scientifically accurate as possible. The ominous emptiness of a black hole, the swirling unknown that encompasses a wormhole, the sheer terror felt from a wave hundreds of feet high… Interstellar is just visually stunning throughout, and there’s innumerable other examples that corroborate this. There’s also a lot accomplished practically, with CGI enhancing images rather than dominating them, and Nolan’s staunchness for practical filmmaking is what makes him such a valuable director in the modern age where computers can sometimes be overused. Suffice to say, the production design and cinematography are of the highest standard throughout.
So, Interstellar is breathtaking to behold, but it’s also memorable in the sound department too. Hans Zimmer produces one of the greatest scores ever put to film; a grand soundscape of wonder, beauty and eeriness that’s a separate emotional experience all in itself. It’s probably the most inspired use of a church organ too: so unique and devastatingly effective. Paired with the memorable imagery, the music is enough to give you chills, particularly in its strongest narrative moments – of which there are many.
Overall, Interstellar is simply breathtaking. Never has a film evoked such monumental feelings in me like this science fiction adventure has. From the screenplay, to the performances, to the visuals, to the music… everything just clicks into place like it was meant to be. It’s an extraordinary experience, it’s perfection – and it remains my favourite film.
Score – 10/10