Interstellar is a singularity of a movie that dazzles in the long view, but has its ultimate purpose and message squished and smashed into the tiniest of spaces. Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated sci-fi epic purports itself to be a grand adventure with the most dire of stakes. The intrepid pilot Cooper, played by Matthew McConaughey, is tasked with a grim mission of finding a new home for mankind somewhere beyond a black hole. The movie does an excellent job setting the appropriate stage laying out how the final generation of humans on earth will live out their days. Desperation is palpable as governments collapse in the wake of global food shortages and technological innovation comes to a screeching halt as mankind barely has the means to feed itself let alone go to war with each other. Suddenly the world needs more farmers than they do engineers and it is against this backdrop that Cooper raises his family. Little is told of his past other than that he is an engineer and former pilot for NASA, but it is the relationship he has with his young daughter Murph that forms the emotional lynchpin of this movie. Their screen time together is easily the strongest part of the film and the emotional connection between them is ultimately the most human part of this experience. Their scenes together are the touchstone that holds this movie together and the movie is easily at its best around the time when Cooper boards the shuttle Endurance and finally has to leave her behind. As the movie shifts into space, it showcases Hoyte Van Hoytema’s beautiful cinematography with shots that illustrate just how overwhelming the universe can look and feel. The Endurance set against massive celestial bodies nail the sense of place and just how difficult their journey will be. The dangers they face when touching down on the other side of the wormhole further drive home the power of nature and just how insignificant humans are in its face. Unfortunately, the characters are also overwhelmed by the thematic concepts Interstellar tries to convey and any more attempts at characterization are hijacked by the need to drive the message home. This movie is oddly spiritual for something that comports itself to be hard science fiction and the ideas of sacrifice and faith become a powerful thread in this movie. This happens at the expense of characters who are stifled by themes delivered with all the subtlety of a jackhammer. Dialogue suddenly becomes didactic and stilted as they cease acting like real people and become mouthpieces for explaining to the audience about what it all means. Professor Brand, played by Nolan favorite Michael Caine, delivers the treatise of this movie with his quote from a Dylan Thomas poem. He does little else and serves no other proper function other than to try and shoehorn meaning to this journey into space. Amelia Brand, played by Anne Hathaway, is an equally flat character and also becomes a vehicle for delivering the film’s overt message. Her soliloquy on love and sacrifice as the Endurance team debates which planet to visit next is also heavy handed. Even the relationship between Cooper and Murph, the strongest part of the early going, loses its luster later. Jessica Chastain does an admirable job playing the adult version of Murph but does not quite have the emotional connection to Cooper her younger self does, as their lives literally take place in different parts of the galaxy. While there are periods of conflict and excitement, Interstellar is also dull for long stretches. Far too much of the movie is spent philosophizing and pondering its own meaning and that is its greatest failure. Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related One Response Top Ten Favorite 2014 Sci-Fi Movies - Psycho Drive-In January 23, 2015 […] Interstellar is one of the best films of 2014 due to its excellence in dialogue, story, special effects and acting. The dialogue is excellent, written by Christopher and Jonathan Nolan, (The Dark Knight saga and Memento). Christopher Nolan (Inception) directs, giving the film a Kubrickian feel, with his quintessential modular plotline, crafting a story that bends time and perception. This modular plot line is integral to the storytelling of Interstellar since much of that story comes from abstract theoretical physics. In short, the heroes of Interstellar must find a new, sustainable planet in order to save humanity. These heroes, are “astronauts “ Cooper (Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club), Brand (Anne Hathaway, The Dark Knight Rises) and scientist-back-on-Earth, Murph (Cooper’s daughter played by Mackenzie Foy). […] Log in to Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.