Hey everyone, and welcome to another Review post where I fangirl over some of my all-time favorite films and recommend them to you! This week it’s Interstellar, which, thanks to my dad, I was able to watch in IMAX! Something you should probably know about my dad; he never sees a movie twice in theaters. It’s just too expensive. You wanna guess how many times my dad saw Interstellar? That’s right, twice. Both times in IMAX! This is like a huge deal (and one of the many reasons I was so willing to go see it even though I know virtually nothing about it). The other reason being that this is a Christopher Nolan film, the man behind another favorite of mine, Inception (but that’s for another post). In conclusion, I was on board to see this movie, and it was 100% worth it.
Firstly, the visuals are stunning, absolutely breathtaking. I have a love/hate relationship with space and it is all the mainstream media’s fault. On the one hand, space is portrayed as this gorgeous, mysterious, other-worldly entity that we can interact with, while also being unpredictable and dangerous (because when has anything good happened in space in the movies?) Gravity, 2001: The Space Odessey, Apollo 13, Alien. Let’s just say bad things tend to happen in space. But back to Interstellar. I think it does a beautiful job of enhancing the character’s relationship to both space and the ‘spaces’ that they inhabit in the storyline (cornfields, the planet of water, etc.) One of my favorite uses of spatial relations that is used in the film is the spinning spaceship, especially in the docking scene near the end of the film. The reversal used in these shots showing a static spaceship and the background spinning around just does something to the way you view the film. You’re suddenly connected to the spaceship; no longer an observer but partaking in the action. That movement alone is so powerful.
Another very well executed part of the film was the music. I have a thing for movie music (see my most recent FREESTYLE post). For this film, I felt as if the music was an extension of the emotional aura of the story. Gentle, but demanding, it hangs in the air without drawing any kinds of conclusions, making the situations seem half-revealed and mysterious. It is also powerful and climatic, building its way through countless crescendo’s to pique our interest and draw goosebumps on our arms. Coupled with the stunning visuals, the movie is phenomenal to watch without the storyline. That’s not to say the story isn’t important. In fact, the overall theme to the movie is what drives the music and cinematography to look and feel the way they do.
For those that haven’t seen the film yet, you may want to come back to this section after seeing the film so I don’t spoil anything for you. Everyone else, I’m just going to talk about some moments where I thought the story made a powerful impact on me as a viewer.
Firstly, the overall concept is big but also small. When you get down to it, the film asks the age-old question; me, or everyone else? And the theme lends itself to the idea that sacrifices will be rewarded if done for the right reasons. But then you get into the complications of space and time and unknown forces (be they fates or aliens) in the discoverable universe. Interstellar does a great job of giving us information about an unknown world that has potential truth, but hides enough information that the audience still feels like a novice explorer probing the story for clues to their unanswered questions. And that’s all before the emotional connections come into play. I won’t outline the relationships between characters in detail, but I will point out one of the most powerfully emotional scenes in the whole film. When Cooper, played by Matthew McConaughey, sees the accumulated messages from his son after his trip to the water planet, and you just see his emotional outburst, his sobbing face as he watches his child grow up without him, and it is heart-wrenching. And the most amazing part about it is that there’s no fancy cinematography or sound editing to enhance emotion (outside of maybe the music). It’s just him crying, all alone except for us in the audience. Us, who shared his surprise and anguish at the time jump between the water planet and the ship. I just think this scene is one of the most effective in all the film in really connecting us with the characters and story.
Anyways, I could probably talk about this movie until the end of time and still feel like I haven’t done it justice. As always, if you have any suggestions for things I should watch /review, be sure to leave a comment, or tweet at me or send me a Facebook message (all social media info is on my About page). You can even email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tune in next week for some filmmaking tips!