I admit, I was a little concerned about spending three hours in a movie theater with no bathroom breaks, which is why I didn’t watch “Interstellar” until it came out on OnDemand.
After seeing the film, I do regret missing the Oscar-winning visual effects and spectacular views of space in IMAX, yet the cinematography along with the detailed plot and acting performances make the movie one worth watching, even on the small screen.
Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” received much criticism for its length, yet it felt much shorter than “Boyhood” and was more deserving of the Best Screenplay Oscar Nomination than either “Boyhood” or “Foxcatcher.”
Although the introduction could’ve been shortened, it set up the pre-apocolyaptic world in which Cooper (Matthew McConaghuey), his family, and the future of humanity live. In the world where crops are dying of blight and dust and a limited human population struggles to survive and repopulate after a famine, many issues of or modern wold–such as the need to make everything easier and to “have it all”–are questioned. The multi-faceted plot lines and thematic concerns come to life in Nolan’s packed film, causing the viewer to wonder about the limits of this future Earth as well as our present-day one.
Throughout the movie, it feels as if there are as many stories being told as there are dimensions being discovered. Speckled with quotes from Dylan Thomas’s “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Dark Night,” the message of the film is clear: we must fight for survival, not only for ourselves, but for the larger society. Yet we must make connections, find love, for it is love that inspires us, ignites the need in us to “rage against the dying of the light.” The film plays something like a mantra of the struggle to be and remain human, to sacrifice for the greater good, and to honor the power of love in its many forms.
These messages are transmitted through mind-bending visuals as well as the acting performances. Sometimes it is difficult not to imagine Matthew McConaghuey as his Texan self, and Anne Hathaway’s performance as Brand fell flat in an otherwise emotional movie, but Jessica Chastain’s portrayal of Murph–Cooper’s daughter who is abandoned on Earth for decades while her father spends hours beyond the space-time continuum–draws the viewer back to the heart of the film. This coupled with appearances by Matt Damon and Casey Affleck whose stories amplify an already-complex plot amp “Interstellar’s” tension and depth.
“Interstellar’s” biggest success is that it is both a riveting space action flick and an intense and thought-provoking drama. It is one that will give the viewer much more than three hours of ideas and discussions to bounce through time and space.
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