Like most of Christopher Nolan’s films, Interstellar will leave you trying to process what occurred and that is why it is a good film. This is not your average Hollywood film. Interstellar is about more than simply saving humanity from possible extinction; it is about the power of love, family, and what one is willing to do for survival.
Nolan creates a movie that will make the audience think.
The story follows the widowed Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), the former NASA pilot and now farmer, who is asked by his old professor to pilot the ship Endurance search another galaxy for a new planet since Earth is becoming less and less habitable for humans. The characters are going through another Dust Bowl, which severely depletes their food supply. Cooper and his team travel through a wormhole into another galaxy which was placed near Jupiter by the unknown guardians, “They,” to find a potentially habitable new home.
The film amazes its audience with visual effects, specifically the wormhole, which Nolan made understandable to all audiences. Hans Zimmer made use of new techniques in his creation of the film’s score which gives each scene a unique atmospheric dissonance. The music in this film affected me in a way that no other film scores have before. Zimmer gives every scene a sincere emotion, especially one particularly tense scene towards the end that caused my fellow movie-goers to shed a tear and even, in one case, leave the theater.
At first I was hesitant to believe that McConaughey would be able to pull off this more serious leading role
since his character is supposed to be a brilliant engineer and scientist, but he executes his performance well. From loving father to explorer, McConaughey portrays Cooper as a man who values his family over anything else. He gives his character depth, particularly in one scene when he returns to the Endurance after having spent a mere three hours on a planet to realize that, due to relativity, 23 years have passed by on Earth. He views video of his children growing up and weeps at the fact that he was not with them.
The rest of the cast also excelled: Michael Caine as physicist Professor Brand, who recites Dylan Thomas’ poem “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night”; Anne Hathaway as Professor Brand’s daughter, Amelia Brand; and Jessica Chastain as Cooper’s daughter, Murph. The characters’ stories intertwine as Cooper and Amelia form a bond while on the Endurance and Professor Brand and Murph connect trying to figure out the algorithm to save humanity.
The film is largely based on physicist Kip Thorne’s works and he was a consultant on set for the film.
Interstellar delivered where Gravity failed because in Interstellar, the visuals of space, the wormhole, and the theories are all scientifically accurate. Nolan makes sure that the film does not venture too far off the road of reality. For example, the principles of relativity play a role in the film when Cooper and his team go to a planet where one hour is equivalent to seven years on Earth. This drives the suspense of the film because it demonstrates how little room for error the astronauts have.
Interstellar deals with the human condition. It is a philosophical film that focuses on the power of love, survival, and the continuity of the human race. All of the characters deal with love of some kind: Cooper leaves his family to save them, Brand tries to persuade the team of the Endurance to travel to her lover’s planet, and Murph tries to figure out the algorithm to see her father again. Like Brand states to Cooper, “Love is the one thing we’re capable of perceiving that transcends time and space.”
I believe that Nolan uses this film to convey that love and family take precedence over all else and we should be willing to sacrifice ourselves for our loved ones.