Christopher Nolan (Inception) is a master of his trade, I think this is safe to say. The director has always steered his vision towards films that are thought provoking and challenging to achieve and the payoff has always resulted in widely acclaim films that leave its viewers talking about them for ages. As big as this film is in scope, it is equally as beautiful in it’s rendition of sacrifice and devotion to protecting the ones you love. I have viewed very few films in my lifetime that have left me in a awe of the achievement that I had just witnessed, I can safely say Interstellar has been added to this list with emphasis.
Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is a former NASA test pilot and engineer turned farmer who lives with his family, including his father-in-law Donald (John Lithgow), teenage son Tom (Timothée Chalamet), and ten year old daughter Murphy (Mackenzie Foy) in middle America. Cooper raises corn, one of the last remaining resources for food in the world. Crops are routinely ravaged by blight and dust storms scour the land destroying everything in its path. Each year seems to bring a new extinction to the food chain and the earth has little chance to sustain humanity in the foreseeable future. Mankind has regressed from an industrial nation into a more agricultural society where the need for farmers outweighs the need for engineers. The fate of the world is set and the clock is ticking.
Cooper’s young daughter “Murph” has experienced unexplained phenomenons in the families home and believes that ghosts are trying to communicate with her. Cooper challenges his daughter to provide scientific proof of her beliefs, but when faced with a similar experience, Cooper discovers that the ghosts are real and they are leaving them coordinates which he intends to follow. Cooper is lead to a secret NASA installation led by Professor Brand (Michael Caine), a man from Cooper’s past, who explains that the world is dying and he intends to colonize another galaxy to save humanity before time runs out on the species.
Cooper is recruited to pilot Endurance, an experimental spacecraft whose mission is to search for a new home for humanity. The mission entails the group to enter a wormhole that has formed off Saturn and collect results from the Lazarus Mission, a series of manned probes sent through the wormhole to survey potential planets as to their long-term sustainability. Initial data received from the Lazarus project have given NASA three potential candidates for which the group intends to validate. Lead by Professor Brand’s daughter Amelia (Anne Hathaway), the group must embark on this journey.
Cooper faces resentment from Murph regarding his decision to accept this mission. Knowing what it will mean to leave his children poses many challenges for Cooper, but understanding what is at stake outweighs his feelings. The decision to leave is not any easier and results with Cooper leaving on bad terms with his daughter. The journey for Cooper has just become that much more challenging.
As the crew of the Endurance face multitudes of challenges on their mission, back on Earth we find a now grown Murph (Jessica Chastain), who has now joined NASA to assist Professor Brand in his research to aid the exploration team and help crack the code to save all of humanity. Still ailing from her father’s decision to leave, Murph is left with resentment and anger towards her absent father, wishing that she could find the answers to why he left and when she might see him again, if ever. As the team reaches its intended destination, Cooper is faced with the decision of a lifetime which could change the course of humanity forever. Will the team find a way to save the millions on Earth or will a “Plan B” be needed to ensure the future of the human race?
Christopher Nolan’s vision is breathtaking. The special effects and cinematography are spellbinding and the sound is earth shattering. A film made for large format theaters and well worth the up charge. The film is nearly three hours in length but there’s enough story to keep you engaged throughout the entirety of the film. The script, written by Jonathon and Christopher Nolan, is overly complicated at times, but doesn’t take away from the storytelling. Stay with it as it will all come together much like previous films from this writing duo.
Matthew McConaughey’s tremendous run continues as he will most certainly add another awards season run to his resume. His performance is pivotal to the success of the film as his character is the linchpin that holds it all together. McConaughey turns in an emotionally charged performance which I consider the best of his career. The supporting cast of Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Matt Damon and Michael Caine, is as good as it gets. Chastain’s fiery performance provides a catalyst that fuels much of emotionally charged atmosphere of the film. Anne Hathaway is engaging and portrays a character who tries to omit an authoritative nature all the while hiding an innocence that shines through when faced with the prospect of loss.
Overall, Interstellar is one of the greatest science fiction films you will ever see. A film that demands to be seen on the biggest screen possible with the best sound system imaginable and will more than likely leave you speechless. This is Christopher Nolan’s crowning achievement.
4 1/2 out of 5
After Credit Scene?