Interstellar - Online Review

'Nolan's visual style suits this sort of operatic space epic, as does his predilection for baggy story telling. Not since Insomnia in 2002 has the writer/director managed to get a story under the two hour mark'

Chris Nolan's Interstellar has been talked of as a homage to Stanley Kubrick's 2001, but really, if you were to be told that it was a remake, you'd have little grounds for argument. Nolan's film not only takes 2001 as a reference point, but touches on direct elements of Kubrick's film. Yes, here, we also go 'beyond the infinite'.

The two directors' approaches to this sort of experimental Science Fiction story are primarily characterised by how many answers they are willing to give you and how friendly their fiction 'wrapper' is. Kubrick starts at the dawn of man. Nolan starts with the introduction of Matthew McConaughey's family, on an Earth ravaged by failing food crops. Needless to say, Nolan's is the friendliest for mass consumption, providing answers where Kubrick was only interested in concepts and questions.

Nolan's visual style - in truth unaltered here by the switch from Wally Pfister as cinematographer to Hoyte Van Hoytema - suits this sort of operatic space epic, as does his predilection for baggy story telling. Not since Insomnia in 2002 has the writer/director managed to get a story under the two hour mark, but at least this narrative, which plays with time and space, can justify some heft, as opposed to, say, The Dark Knight Rises. Still, Nolan first came to notice with the 69 minute Following and the complicated yet sub-two hour Memento and it would be nice to see a return to that tight level of storytelling. Baggy plots and sub plots here with Casey Affleck, Matt Damon and an actually-very-good Topher Grace could all have been mightily trimmed.

To see Nolan's power as a storyteller though, compare Interstellar to a more recent release: Brad Bird's Tomorrowland. Both films have a similar subtext, a liberal leaning to aspiration and exploration as the saviours of the human race, but where Bird's film is all message, and all the more boring for it, Nolan crafts compelling drama and action amongst the philosophy. Interstellar is an exciting voyage into the unknown. Tomorrowland boils down to a battle between good and evil. Despite the problems here, and there are a number, don't underestimate how much skill Nolan has in producing this sort of story. There are few current auteurs who could genuinely bring this sort of vision to the screen in this satisfying a manner.




Interstellar was playing on Blinkbox.


By Sam Turner. Sam is editor of Film Intel, and can usually be found behind a keyboard with a cup of tea. He likes entertaining films and dislikes the other kind. He's on , Twitter and several places even he doesn't yet know about.

No comments:

Post a comment