“Interstellar” — A short review

Here’s a short review of “Interstellar”– I saw it over the weekend and I thought it was great. Obviously, no film is perfect, but the few flaws it has weren’t enough for me not to enjoy it. Usually, the amount of time I spend thinking about a film after watching it is a good measuring stick for how much I liked it. And I’ve been thinking about this film most of the week!

First off, though… I’ve come across more than a few negative, nit-picky reviews online. When I first started seeing these–especially the ones that seemed to take a lot of delight in tearing the film apart–I suspected that some of these reviewers were trying really hard not to like it. I am more convinced of that now. I wonder if their opinions would be different if the movie hadn’t been so hyped up for so long. Also, for some reason Nolan is a “love-him-or-hate-him” type of director, and I think that plays into it, too. FYI, I am a Nolan fan and am a big fan of his Dark Knight trilogy and Inception.

Visuals-wise, the film is a masterpiece. According to physicist Kip Thorne, who was a consultant on the film, the black hole simulations actually led to new discoveries about gravitational lensing around black holes. The story can be a bit confusing, and they throw around a lot of complicated science concepts, but I don’t think most people would have trouble keeping up. The acting is also stellar (haha). Music-wise, Hans Zimmer delivers a very powerful and surprisingly emotional score (can’t wait for the collector’s edition of the album). If there’s a flaw in the film, it’s the character-driven interactions. That tends to be the flaw in most of Nolan’s films–the stories are very plot-driven, and the characters just do and say what they need to get from point A to point B. This would bug me if it were a weak story, but in this case it’s not a deal-breaker at all. (And this is probably the “flaw” in many sci-fi films and novels.)

One of the messages of the film is truly relevant in today’s climate change era. If we’re to survive as a species, we MUST start thinking of going to the stars (or nearby planets, for starters). If climate change doesn’t kill us, then probably an asteroid or volcano will. We’ll definitely need to be off-planet when the sun expands to the point that it cooks the Earth some 5 billion years from now. The film addresses that type of thinking, and also some of the problems we’ll come across as interstellar explorers. One such problem is relativistic time dilation–time moves slower for you if you’re in a gravity well. The higher the gravity, the slower time moves. An hour for you might be days, weeks, or more for someone outside the effects of the gravity well. I can’t think of any other film that deals with this as dramatically as “Interstellar.”

Bottom line… If you’re a fan of Nolan’s previous work and/or are into realistic science fiction/space travel movies with “mind blowing” concepts, you will enjoy this film.

Advertisements