‘Interstellar’ a stunning spectacle of the highest order


By Mason Lazarcheff / Staff Writer


Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain

Grade: A

Every year, there’s a movie or two that set the Internet ablaze, with fans clamoring for every detail they can find. “The Avengers” of 2012 and the upcoming “Star Wars” reboot come to mind, as Christopher Nolan’s latest, “Interstellar,” came close to those levels. Luckily, it was deserving of the anticipation.

Interstellar” takes place in the near future on a dying Earth ravaged by disease. It follows a farmer named Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), who has experience in engineering and piloting. He is selected to find alternate planets that can sustain life through a newly formed wormhole near Saturn. But he’s conflicted between saving the human race and staying with his family. Eventually, Cooper makes the difficult decision to go on the expedition without knowing if he’ll ever return. 

All of the actors and actresses performed exceptionally well, in a large ensemble that included McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck and Michael Caine. McConaughey, whose career has been rolling with recent success from “Dallas Buyers Club” and “True Detective,” continues his brilliant acting streak. Cooper’s conflict between family and humanity makes him a great character and elevates the taxing nature of his decision. 

Nolan seems to be concerned with the conflict between science and religion. Amelia (Hathaway) is a part of both worlds — professionally, she is a scientist, but personally, she believes that some higher power was the cause of the wormhole that seemingly appeared out of nowhere. Amelia’s ability to balance the two characteristics makes her one of the more interesting characters in the film.

Every scene in “Interstellar” was an eye-popping visual spectacle. Space was portrayed similarly to last year’s “Gravity,” in that there was nothing but a silent, empty abyss, and planets such as Earth and Saturn looked almost identical to what you would see from satellite images. Hans Zimmer’s score further enhanced the beauty of all these images. The music adds an element of suspense when traveling away from Earth, mystery when navigating through the wormhole and excitement with time-constraining situations.  

When the film concludes, the audience is left to wonder what messages Nolan was trying to convey. It’s possible that Nolan wanted to suggest that we aren’t ready to perform such a journey today — or that we should only do so during desperate times. In a way, this is partly frustrating and rewarding. We want to know the true message, but at the same time, it’s nice to analyze the film and decide for ourselves, which is what one should expect when it comes to the open-ended nature of Nolan’s films.

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