The film has a somewhat convoluted plot, with time loops and wormholes, but it can be summed up by saying it’s about a post apocalyptic time on earth where most of the crops are dying and people are running out of food, forcing the exploration of other plants. As a result, a father (McConaughey) leaves his daughter, Murph (Foy), to go into space with some a group of scientists that includes Hathaway to find another planet that is hospitable for the human race. Through encounters with wormholes, they end up being gone for a significant period of time. In this time, Murph has grown up and is then played by Chastain. She is working with Professor Brand (Caine), who is in charge of the entire project to find a solution to the problem on Earth.
At that point, any additional description would be more confusing than that already is. The film looks very impressive, with great visual effects and performances, but a plot that is relatively convoluted, to the point that after the film, I found myself thinking about the time connections and how the entire film is a giant paradox.
The cinematography was amazing, but once the characters go into space, the film begins to drag. When the characters begin visiting other planets, the story picks up, and there is a significant appearance of a name actor in a crucial role that is a fun surprise.
Overall, Interstellar was a film I wanted to like, but I found it just wouldn’t let me. I was particularly interested in the father daughter story that was spoken about in the promotion, as those are rarely seen onscreen, but there is very little actual interaction between the father and daughter. It’s more like the father is on a journey synonymous with Odysseus, trying to get home to his daughter. As a big Christopher Nolan fan, it’s possible my own expectations got in the way, but I think it’s more the fact that after the film ended, I couldn’t let go of the fact that the last quarter of the film rendered the entire previous segment impossible. At a 2:49 minute running time, that is a significant segment of the film.
Another thing the film would have benefitted from was editing. Nolan’s movies all tend to run long, and when they have the script and the storyline to support it, which they usually do, that’s fine, but this film doesn’t, and many parts could have been cut down substantially, and the film would have benefitted.
Interstellar is a film that might be worth catching when it runs on television, if for no other reason than to be aware of the cultural reference, but overall did not live up to the hype and is a film that can be skipped without worry of having missed out on a great cinematic experience.
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