Interstellar
Acting
Directing
Script
Cinematography
Timeless
2.8Overall Score

I have been looking forward to this night ever since Chris Nolan had announced his next project to be Interstellar, it was supposed to be my movie night of 2014. The Nolans would do it again – take a rather unclear plot line and magically turn it into one of the best movies of all time (similar to what they achieved with Inception). I did of course watch all trailers but try to stay away from all other news which were coming in in order to keep the spoiler level at the absolute minimum. All I knew was the basic storyline to be mankind being about to go extinct and a space mission headed by the main characters Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway with Michael Cain being the “mastermind” behind the mission. To my great disappointment this night ended up not being as magical as I thought after all, this was not my movie highlight of 2014 – in fact it may have been a low point. After leaving the theatre late at night, I mostly felt: disappointment, confusion and relief.

Courtesy of http://wired.com

Courtesy of http://wired.com

Maybe I was expecting something else, maybe I am not smart enough to understand the 5th dimension or maybe against common belief this was actually the first not-so-great movie by the Nolan brothers. But let’s start the review on a more positive note; this movie certainly utilised very unique ingredients of science fiction: combining philosophy, the meaning of life and the human instinct for survival into an interesting idea. Also of course, a Nolan movie is always shot in the most gorgeous way possible and the Hans Zimmer soundtrack added the fitting element to capture the film atmosphere – and this was even done in a very different way than he normally compose. The mood and atmosphere on our Planet Earth which is about to go extinct with little to no hope has been captured beautifully “dusty”. People are frustrated and not very hopeful and this “general” mood has transcended to most levels of society including school and education. The aspirations of young kids no longer is to “reach the stars” but to crop corn. Finally a greatly fun element of this film was the probably most ugly robot ever made in modern cinema – but it somehow fit into the film and the AI of that robot actually was one of the few highs this film delivered. So far so good…

Courtesy of http://vanityfair.com

Courtesy of http://vanityfair.com

Let’s get to the parts which just did not sit well with me…for starters, the movie is attempting to be a highly emotional piece of cinema – especially for a director known to be rather “cold” in his movies. So here is the set of perfect ingredients, my favourite director, a Hans Zimmer soundtrack and Matthew McConaughey in a father-daughter life drama – who would not at least shed a little man tear. Normally, I would be first in line but not this time and the reason is ultimately very simple, I was just not able to connect with neither the actors nor their story. I was hoping that the towards the end when the plot is solved, I would have some kind of an “aha”-moment where it all comes together, similar to TDKR which put the pieces of the puzzle together quite nicely towards the end. But in the end things just got more and more confusing and thus all emotional moments in the film completely ended up not phasing me – and believe me there are some heavy tear-jerkers in here. The pace of the film being slow was annoying at times but more acceptable because it ultimately wants to capture exactly how long everything takes and how much time is going by. Ultimately the biggest problem for me was the script and its failed attempt to be cohesive and comprehensive; I understand that Jonathan Nolan is magnificent script writer and attempting to bring the scientific and philosophical rationale of gravity and time in space to screen is a lot to take on. But if you are Jonathan Nolan and you take on this challenge, you better deliver. In the 2 hours 49 minutes too many things about why mankind is going extinct, how the mission can succeed or why it may fail and how the 5th dimension and the wormhole is being part of the equation just did not become entirely clear to me…That is why I am confused. And I am ultimately watching a hollywood movie which should be able to boil it down to a simple enough plot line which the entire audience can somewhat grasp. In the past years – especially in 2013 – Hollywood brought us so many new and interesting films which absolutely blew my mind when I saw them – an example which comes to mind would be Gravity. Not only do I mention this because it also Science Fiction but because it completely succeeds at what it attempts to be. And probably this is one the main things which bother me, Interstellar at its core does not succeed to convey its message in an efficient way despite taking a very long time to do so. My high expectations probably did not help here either but ultimately that is why I am disappointed.

After not being able to connect with the movie at all, I kept checking my phone to see how far along we are and once the ride was finally over and as much as I wanted to love this movie, I could only feel one thing…relief.

The Good

  • Gorgeously shot movie with fitting atmosphere
  • A bad Nolan movie is probably still an above average movie

The Bad

  • Incohesive script by one of the best script writers in Hollywood
  • Not being able to connect with the characters and the film itself destroyed the whole experience
  • Great actors with meh chemistry

Info
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  • Running time: 169 min
  • Genre: Science Fiction, Drama
  • Year: 2014

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