A blog by: Thomas Williamson Domol
“Do not go gentle into that good night”- Interstellar
I am going to level with you right off the bat: I said I was going to review this film, and I am not. No, this time around, I’ve opted to take a slightly different approach, and discuss what the film means for the industry as a whole. Before I do that, let me say that I loved every minute of this nearly 3 hour film. Christopher Nolan is the true definition of a visionary director and has singlehandedly changed the way we should perceive movies as an integral part of the public discourse.
Like many of his films before it, Interstellar was a project shrouded in mystery in the time leading up to it’s release. Sites like imdb.com simply referred to it as “A Christopher Nolan science fiction film.” And in this regard, that very vague synopsis is accurate. Interstellar is a very high concept, dizzyingly so, scifi film about a dying planet earth. Here we are dealing with topics like time travel, wormholes, and entering into a black hole coming out of the other end in a 5th dimension. You, know, lighter fare.
In my opinion, it’s two movies, one with McConaughey and his daughter, the emotional backbone of the story, and the other spent in the outer reaches of our cosmos and beyond. The film is visually arresting. Nolan has never been one to lean on big budget special effects, and while obviously the cast and crew did not fly a spaceship to Jupiter, the cinematography kind of makes you believe they did. Everything has an organic feel to it in this film, from the aesthetics, to the plot itself. After all, if we could pack up and move to a new planet to continue life as we know it, and could bend the laws of space and time, probably would..
After some time, this film will upset a lot of people because of its implications. Nolan does not pen “happy endings”, he pens open endings that force the audience to draw its own conclusions about the fate of key characters.This is the type of film you talk about with your roommate at 2am, when you feel like you have obtained the power to decipher all the world’s mysteries.
Nolan obliterated the mold of what a Hollywood film is supposed to be. With the holiday movie season already upon us, his films stick out as a beacon in the midst of predictable, bankable, tentpole features that are meant to up lift and bring things to satisfying full circle. And you have to be close to infinitely talented to pull off an ambiguous film during the feel good stretch of the year.
There is a lot we can take away from this film, like the fact that Michael Caine is still one of the coolest life forms on this or any other planet. What we also can and should take away from the film is the notion that it is ok to think big, to challenge our preconceived theories of why life exists and our role in it, Through some very skilled filmmaking and breathless action sequences, Nolan has taught us a lesson about demanding answers about what’s up above us, about what lies behind the stars we see when we look up at the sky. No matter what your beliefs, you have to admit that there is a thrill to the unknown of space exploration.
I have met my match. I cannot justly explain to you what transpires in this film. I have my own take on the film, but you almost certainly will develop your own theories. I guess that’s one of the beauties of film critique. Keep your eyes to the sky.