Interstellar takes off by constituting its soaring ambitions right at the very first few sequences of the film: humanity is struggling to survive in a barely habitable Earth, already at the brink of total destruction. Earth and its resources is down to its last few moments, but when a wormhole, a medium that enables space time-travel beyond known limits, is discovered, scientists and ordinary men gather together, to begin an exploration that would take time-traveling through different worlds, in man’s desperate search for humanity’s place among the stars.
To fully understand Interstellar, its premise and its accuracy, may require repetitive thinking, research, and a certain level of intellect—perhaps the same level Nolan asked in Inception. But the film does not necessarily ask its audience to right away fully understand it, instead it begs you to feel it, to experience its dilemmas and tragedies and go through the same threads of emotion tangled up within the web of humanity’s last possible moments, and the relationship between a widowed father and his children already leaning toward an anticipated end. Nolan’s made sure that even if the film’s ideas are too far-fetched and seem to rest on towering intellectual grounds, it would nonetheless connect to its audience by delivering its message through emotionally-charged tales of human relationships, tangible enough to be felt and experienced.
At its core, is retired NASA engineer, Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) and his relationship with his children—most strikingly with his daughter, Murph. Cooper’s emotional journey—the decision he has to make whether to leave his family behind or join the quest to search for a new habitable planet—alone, serves as an effective vessel to transport the audience from Earth, right from the moment the spacecraft ‘Endurance’ takes off from the ground, to the unknown limits of the cosmos. McConaughey delivers a stunning and highly-commendable performance, and I can certainly say it’s one of the best I’ve seen from any actor, so far, and he may be owing that to Nolan’s impeccable direction. McConaughey’s incredibly brilliant portrayal of a loving father places him at the center of the story. There are plenty of nail-biting sequences here depicting his devastation after the choices he needed to make and still has to take, and in each one, he never fails to effectively convey whatever emotion the sequence requires him to deliver.
Nolan’s mastery of his craft screams in deafening volumes through his unblemished capacity to explore and raise the layers of the film’s characters and put their stories in right places and in valid highlights within the film, and that works best with the help of brilliant musical score orchestrated by the equally impeccable Hans Zimmer. Added with breath-taking cinematography and spectacular visual effects, together, these elements, make Interstellar capable of weaving a human story powerful enough to intrude through our delicate emotional senses, delve into our humanity and still go beyond that. Nolan’s managed to tread through the film’s seemingly absurd scope and ambitions without losing focus on the one powerful element that seems to keep the film’s aspects bonded together: LOVE. As chiché as it may sound, that may be the only thing that is right away understood and easily felt in the movie. There are a lot of questions raised, and each one poses another, but none of which really requires immediate answer, and by not losing grasp of the mystery of love, and the power it can deliver to make human connections tighter and even closer amidst the ever widening physical distance between the characters in the film, Nolan comes out victorious in making the audience feel and understand Interstellar and have its questions answered, in a way that doesn’t necessarily oblige us to just think, but also to make our emotions work as well, so we can have the experience the film wants us to go through.
Sure, it can’t be perfect, I myself noticed that it lacks focus with its narrative and some may argue that this one can’t be Nolan’s best, but for me, it really isn’t that hard to put this on the list of the best sci-fi movies I’ve seen so far. Nolan has put together a perfect ensemble of outstanding actors, whose powerful performances, IMO, are enough to cover the flaws. Not a single bit of every actor’s potential is put into waste, here; everyone has a star to shine in this universe Nolan created. Hans Zimmer’s music seems to never go out of sync, in fact it almost always goes in harmony with the dramatic highlights of the film. Visual effects is never less than top-notch; the imagery presented in this film is utterly jaw-dropping, so expect to have your breath being repeatedly taken away by the frequent outburst of colors effectively employed to establish distinctions between the dimensions. All those elements are satisfyingly sufficient to create the deciding impulse needed to bring the movie to where it aims to arrive.
Interstellar is a thought-provoking and mind-enriching motion picture, a grand and brilliantly depicted visual spectacle not bereft of human emotions, one of the best of its genre in a very long time. If this movie gets proclaimed as a classic in the coming decades, that definitely isn’t going to come as a surprise.