Sunday, November 23, 2014

INTERSTELLAR

by Kitty Rouge


Last weekend, I eagerly went to watch Interstellar. Over the years, Christopher Nolan has mastered sophisticated, stylized, cerebral movies which never failed to blow me away. He solidified himself as one of the greats: revolutionizes his use of film over digital and resorts to as little CGI as possible, and everything he touches seemingly turns to cinematic gold. How can someone not be eager to watch his latest flick?

While I consider this to be Nolan's weakest movie, that isn't necessarily a bad thing considering his impressive filmography as it is still superior to many other movies out there. Nolan's movies usually dabble around themes of guilt, distorted reality, paradox and obsession in neo-noir settings; his winning combination. This time around, he perceived unfamiliar grounds with matters of the heart embedded within a starry backdrop and foreign planets. Nolan's gushiest and most emotionally driven movie to date but it's clear that it isn't his strong suit yet; dropping the ball at creating a vital relationship worth caring about. While the actors did give it their all, there unfortunately wasn't enough of it on screen. Regardless of that, it did induce many tears, based on the many sniffles that could be heard in the theatre (I shed a tear here and there myself).

A star-studded ensemble composed of Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain, not without Nolan's good luck charm Michael Caine and newcomer Mackenzie Foy. Top-billed actors delivered poignant performances despite without fault, blurting occasionally corny monologues and a flat script written by Nolan's brother, Jonathan. Supporting and small characters alike are not given much of a chance at being tangible and are easily dismissed in the grand scheme of the story. One of my biggest disappointment came from a mystery A-list actor who I found brought nothing but wow factor, all plot aside. Needless to say, I thought a certain robot was a much more marvellous actor.

As for the frivolous controversy surrounding the sound, yes, my ears handled a lot but not more than most blockbuster movies. For me, this isn't the first time sound has been an issue in Nolan's movies. I'm a huge fan of his collaboration with composer Hans Zimmer and while I can't blame him for amping up the score in favour of dialogue, it can be distracting at times. The score didn't disappoint, revamping at what typical epic music should sound like. I was all the more impressed at finding out that Zimmer had no plot details prior to creating this moving score.
Visually, there are steel cold and monochromatic hues that I love about Christopher Nolan films and I wondered whether that would change without Wally Pfiser on board, the cinematographer on all of Nolan's previous movies. Hoyt van Hoytema did a fine job at recreating that signature look which felt a tad more organic than usual.

It's not a perfect movie, few are. But few look, feel and are as original and great as this one. Interstellar is exactly why we go to the movies. It demands to be seen for its cinematically epic proportions and anyone who's seen Inception knows they're in good hands. It's no wonder people compare it to sci-fi classic 2001 : A Space Odyssey, with many nods to Kubrick's masterpiece. It's ambitious, even for Nolan or any other director to delve into the intricate grandeur of time, science & space exploration. Nolan has a knack for simplifying complex stories and keeping them as accurate to life as a story line will let him. What he doesn't achieve with emotional human connection, he excels with everything else. It's a thrilling, edge-of-your-seat experience that amongst many things explores the cosmos as well as love. And how both have the capability of being equally vast.




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