Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar should be viewed as one of the greatest sci-fi films of all time, and here I discuss why.
I am a deep thinker when it comes to the universe, and what this film manages to do is give the feeling of limitless space and the impossible task of demonstrating how difficult space exploration will be when it is our time to space travel. I say our time because it is inevitable, is it not? NASA is already putting the technical processes and the technology in place to get humans onto Mars by 2030. Interstellar goes deeper than NASA’s plan – this is deep space exploration, whereby going through a black hole looks and feels possible on the big screen. The film manages to make the audience feel like they are on the journey of traveling such incredible distances using impressive visuals and amazing cinematography.
Nolan is known for limiting the use of special effects and computer-generated imagery, and in this film he tries to limit this as much as possible by sticking to his known methods of using anamorphic 35 mm and IMAX 70 mm photography. With space travel, you could be cynical to think that Nolan would find it very difficult to limit the use of CGI, however, he still manages to stick to his belief by using locations such as mountains in Iceland to depict a faraway planet. This is perhaps the reasoning for my opinion that Nolan is currently one of the best directors of our time. Interstellar is probably his benchmark masterpiece. Even when faced with the task of doing a sci-fi film, Nolan manages to go beyond what is expected to make it feel as authentic as possible.
As for the storyline itself, a lot of people mistake this film to be about spaceships, the universe and saving Earth. Actually, the core of this film is really about human connection, love, and relationships. Imagine being millions and millions of miles away from the one that you loved, knowing that you are missing crucial moments in their lives due to time and relativity. What you feel to be an hour is actually years lost with someone you love, and because of the way that space and time work, it is completely out of your control. This film uses the law of physics to provide meaning to human connection and as an audience member you feel that pain; it is relatable if you have ever felt a distance between you and someone you have loved, where you know you are losing precious time, where you know that it is time that cannot be made back. The acting in this film is more than applaudable. From Matthew McConaughey and his acting transformation to the young Mackenzie Foy who plays the younger Murph, the acting matches the tone and mood of the film which is gritty, emotional and gripping.
All this would not have been possible if it was not for a good soundtrack, so it comes as no surprise that Christopher Nolan turned to Hans Zimmer to produce one of his best pieces of work. The soundtrack gives its all. It is generally strong and ambitious, but it goes straight to the core of the film. It is loud when it needs to be and it is tentative when the tension is building up and it is loud again when it gets to its conclusions. Hans Zimmer confirmed recently that when he produced this music, he was given a one-page overview of what the film was about, which made creating the soundtrack difficult – he thought about the people he loved when producing the music. The reason why Christopher Nolan provided only a one-page summary is because he wanted to make the storyline as secretive as possible. It is great credit that Hans Zimmer has managed to produce such an amazing soundtrack which aligns favourably with the film, with so little narrative to use for inspiration.
If you are interested in space, if you like a story with meaning and you are patient enough to appreciate cinematography at its finest then I would not hesitate to watch this film. It is such a shame that films like this do not get the appreciation that it deserves in the wider media, as I believe this will be a film we will look back on in years to come.
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Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.