Creed Opinions: A (Inter)Stellar Movie


The official poster for “Interstellar”

Below are two reviews of the film Interstellar. Minor details are included and are necessary for a thorough analysis of the film. Read at your own discretion. 

Kai’s Review

Writer-director Christopher Nolan is known for creating such thought provoking, thrilling and visually masterful cinema as The Dark Knight, Inception and Batman Begins. In his latest movie, Interstellar, Nolan certainly does not fail to deliver what moviegoers have come to expect from him. It also doesn’t hurt that he has an amazing cast with actors such as Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Michael Cane. Nolan’s grasp of time, space and Relativity is impressive and brings a healthy dose of realism to the film, but he manages to artfully weave it into the story without having to spend half the film explaining the concepts to the audience. The main theme of the story is human relationships and how they can transcend time and space.  What makes Interstellar a great film, however, is not the science or the special effects (which are impressive), but the story and the actors.

Interstellar takes place in the not too distant future. In this future, the Earth has been ravaged by climate change and a plant disease known as the Blight, which is wiping out crops and may eventually make the planet uninhabitable. This has forced humanity to abandon exploration, innovation, and militarization in order to focus on meeting their basic needs for survival. The cinematography is reminiscent of old films about the dust bowls of the 1930’s and immerses the audience in the desperate reality in which the story is set. Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), a former pilot for NASA, has been forced to take up a life of farming corn but his hunger for exploration never disappeared. Cooper is chosen to be a part of a very important and uncertain journey into the cosmos to see if humanity’s fate is to die on Earth or to abandon her. He must leave his family behind and literally race against time to try and find a suitable planet before there is no one left to save back home, including his family. What makes Cooper’s decision incredibly difficult is knowing that, because of Relativity, his children may grow old and die while he is in space, remaining relatively ageless.

The cast in this film is strong. Matthew McConaughey gives a riveting performance that has the audience in the palm of his hand. You can see his love for his family is the most important thing in his life, but you also see his reaction to the siren’s call of exploration. In the end he has to reconcile both, understanding he is probably the one man on the planet capable of successfully completing this mission and in saving humanity, he will also be saving his family. Anne Hathaway is also strong, but there are some scenes where her emotional response is not quite believable. The strongest, and most relatable relationship is between Cooper and his daughter Murph (Mackenzie Foy/Jessica Chastain). This relationship drives the whole film, making us laugh, cry and cheer.

Interstellar is a definite candidate for an Academy Award. It has a creative, relatable story with lots of suspense, characters you care about and a great cast. In the spirit of the great science fiction storytellers, it is first a story about real people.  It only happens to take place in space.

Kenneth’s Review

How to make an instant classic:

First, take the perplexing plot intricacies of “Inception”. Next, add the wondrous sci-fi elements of “A Space Odyssey”. Finally, throw in some immaculate and awe-inspiring graphics, an extraordinary cast of some of Hollywood’s best and a director with the utmost creativity and expertise. Mix everything together and there you have it: the masterpiece that is “Interstellar”.

Directed by Christopher Nolan, a renowned English filmmaker whose distinct style and exploration of deeply philosophical subject matter renders him one of the most prominent of his time, “Interstellar” is arguably the best picture of 2014. The movie tells the compelling story of Cooper, a former NASA pilot and space enthusiast who embarks on a quest to discover other habitable worlds orbiting in the galaxy. Played by the captivating Matthew McConaughey, Cooper is also a single dad with two loving children, Murphy and Tom, who share the same passions as their father. When Cooper and Murphy “stumble” across a secret NASA facility, they discover that Cooper has been chosen for an indefinite mission that will save mankind from its imminent demise on Earth. Despite Murphy’s desperate pleas for her father to stay, Cooper decides that he must depart and leave her behind. Thus begins a journey of epic proportions as Cooper travels through time and space, searching for the answer and fighting to return home to see his family again.

Thankfully, such a riveting storyline is not wasted by mediocre acting and special effects, a commonality that many movies have shared in recent years. Rather, the breathtaking CGI and brilliant ensemble of actors in the movie work together to strengthen the overall quality of “Interstellar”. There is no other individual that would fit the role of Cooper better than Matthew McConaughey. For a character who experiences such a multitude of stirring events, Nolan needed to find someone with experience and versatility who could effectively convey Cooper’s sentiments. McConaughey was the perfect choice; his raw emotion and ability to touch even the most stolid viewers makes for a phenomenal and unparalleled performance. However, the supporting characters, Amelia, Murphy and Dr. Mann, played by Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Matt Damon, respectively, cannot be overlooked. Each of them captures the persona of their characters flawlessly, showing that the film is not merely a one-man show.

A review of “Interstellar” would just not be complete without a mention of the special effects and visuals. An accurate portrayal of space is traditionally not an easy task; only recently in 2013 did “Gravity”, a stunning sci-fi thriller, transcend the boundaries of space representation in film. With equally impressive visuals, “Interstellar” proves once again that it is no longer inconceivable for space to be depicted realistically. There are certain moments in the film that leave you at an utter lost for words due to the sheer beauty and stillness of the atmosphere. Accompanied by a mesmerizing score, these instances transport viewers from the theatre into the world of “Interstellar”.

If there’s one thing I can tell you about this film, it would be that it is not possible to summarize this three hour masterpiece in just one sentence. I can only strongly urge you to watch it for yourself and only then will you be able to see what makes “Interstellar” a one-of-a-kind classic that will be talked about for years to come. I may seem too lenient with my praise for this film, but believe me, finding a flaw worth talking about is no easy task.

My rating: 10/10!