I know it’s late to the party, but Interstellar is the film that has pulled me from my film blogging malaise. That and a little nagging from a very close friend who hasn’t seen it and wanted to know what I thought (I know…he’s easily pleased!). Having initially read about Christopher Nolan‘s latest opus some time ago – and clearly looked forward to seeing it in the subsequent months/ years – I’d pretty much avoided all forms of publicity so as to experience Interstellar “fresh”. Obviously, I hadn’t managed to avoid everything; the occasional 30 second TV spot would be glimpsed and shied away from, but on the whole I had little idea what to expect apart from (hopefully) something good. I was not disappointed.
In this age of spoon-fed exposition and by-the-numbers narrative progression I believe we’ve lost the art of watching films. Most Hollywood fare these days requires you to deposit your brain at the door, consume as much popcorn/ dirty-water-dogs/ nachos/ carbonated beverage/ slushy/ pick-n-mix as possible – ’cause that’s what’s making the money – and look at the screen. I don’t really need to say it, but I will anyway; looking and watching are two completely different things. And that’s what Interstellar asks from its audience. It needs to be watched. We don’t necessarily have to understand straight away; good writing reveals those wonderful kernels as the narrative progresses. But we do need to watch. Allow the narrative construct to take us on its ultimately rewarding journey. And what a journey. For all its sci-fi bombast – I’m sure Legendary Pictures’ publicity department wants us to think nothing else – I believe this is a film with a wholly different central theme and one which deeply resonated with me.
With a great cast – and a couple of pleasant surprises for me, having avoided most of Interstellar‘s publicity – I would venture to say that Interstellar is Mr. Nolan’s best film to date. Matthew McConaughey continues his remarkable career renaissance with another powerful performance – and yes folks, I have witnessed Sahara. Another highlight would be the wonderful turns from Bill Irwin and Josh Stewart lending their voices to TARS and CASE, two automaton “guardians”. TARS in particular provides the right level of sass and schtick – allowed through his programming – to keep the crew on their toes and the audience invested in its’ own journey. Not since Huey and Dewey from the marvelous Silent Running have I cared so much for a couple of hunks of metal and electronics. It would be churlish to describe Anne Hathaway‘s delivery as perfunctory, but it must be said that she is the (slightly) weak link in an otherwise solid chain. That said, there is nothing glaringly distracting from the whole process that would detract from this impressive entry in Mr. Nolan’s oeuvre. Go and see Interstellar – in IMAX if possible. You won’t be disappointed. I know I wasn’t.
Thank you for reading.