Sunday, March 27, 2016

Interstellar (2014) #review

A team of explorers travel through a wormhole in space in an attempt to ensure humanity's survival.

Interstellar was another of those films I swore I’d not go see, possibly mainly because of the hype. But then I discovered that Hans Zimmer did the soundtrack. Then I listened to the soundtrack and fell utterly in love. Zimmer wears his Philip Glass on his sleeve with this one, and if anyone’s seen Koyaanisqatsi they’ll understand the reference.

TBH, I couldn’t help but think about that Jodi Foster film Contact (1997) while I was watching Interstellar. Granted, I don’t remember much about Contact except that it left me feeling rather disappointed and that it tapped into some of the current pet conspiracy theories surrounding extra-terrestrial life.

Interstellar sucker punches the audience with its visual and aural elements. Apparently (and this is what I’ve heard anecdotally) the science behind the time dilation in the film all checks out. I wouldn’t know, since the whole relativity thing kinda does my head in, and I’m simply not motivated enough to get into arguments with people who know more about the subject than I do.

All I’ll say is that the narrative loop (because the story kinda loops into itself) was almost predictable. The actual premise of the story didn’t really blow my hair back, because I mean, really, if they have enough technology to send people through wormholes, then why the hell can’t they fix the blight that’s destroying all the food crops? Surely they’d have biodomes or synthesised food or something? But jawellnofine, don’t pay the author any mind. This is a film, and things get simplified for the sake of cinema.

At the heart of the story, however, there’s the troubled relationship between a father and his daughter. That kinda tugged on me hard and made me a wee bit choked up. Especially near the end. Daaaaamn. But then again, anything involving fathers and daughters and complicated relationships will hurt me because I can’t help but reflect on my own father and how much I miss the relationship I never really had. But this is neither the time and place for me to have a moment of existential wangst.

What Interstellar also succeeds in underscoring is exactly how hostile space is. These kinds of films never fail to instil a sense of claustrophobia in me – I’ve always been fearful of situations where people run out of vital resources like fuel or oxygen. There’s a predictable race against time by the end of the film that will leave most folks digging holes into the soft foam of their seats.

And then with regards to acting, I have to admit Matthew McConaughey is a very strange-looking man who, as an actor, has grown on me over the past few years. I quite enjoyed him in True Detective. I’m looking forward to seeing him The Dark Tower. He brings a certain dry, wry practicality to his roles that tickles me.

Would I watch Interstellar again? Probably not. It’s one of those life’s-too-short-to-revisit films, though I know there are others who’ll disagree. I’m kinda on the fence with this one, but I know I’ll be listening to the OST again and again, at full volume, because Hans Zimmer totally blew me out of the water. Again.

1 comment:

  1. I was personally very pleased with the movie, and I really like getting some hard scifi going.

    As for your objection, the tech involved in travelling to a wormhole is not really that advanced, while the technology to fix the blight is a completely different branch of science.