With Interstellar, Christopher Nolan proves once again that intelligent blockbusters can exist

Image: Paramount Pictures

Christopher Nolan’s latest feature is a complex, head-spinning journey into other galaxies, blasting the viewer into a story that is as gripping and emotional as it is scientifically intricate. Despite its hard science fiction moorings, in line with Cordero’s Europa Report or Kubrick’s game-changing 2001: A Space Odyssey, Interstellar provides the viewer with possibly Nolan’s most emotionally charged effort to date.

Amongst the twisting and turning of the action set pieces and the gorgeous visual imagery, the connection between the characters aboard the spacecraft and their loved ones back home is one that feels genuinely emotional, and the process of seeing the two leads, Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, watch the world they left behind change and age is handled with a deft touch.

The Nolan Brothers’ script snaps with interesting dialogue, even if it is over-explanatory at times. However, with a theme as complicated as interplanetary/interdimensional space travel, exposition dialogue is possibly a necessary evil. Matthew McConaughey provides a great showing as farmer-turned-spacepilot Cooper, his personal brand of intensity and his distinctive delivery keeps the viewer invested throughout.

The almost three hour runtime does not drag too much due to good pacing, although it certainly feels like the beginning and end of the film could do with some trimming. After the commercial successes of his previous films, namely the Dark Knight Trilogy and Inception, Christopher Nolan has shown once more that the mainstream blockbuster does not have to be aimed at the lowest common denominator, and that complex, ambitious films can both put people in theatre seats, and entertain audiences. Nolan undoubtedly has another box office smash on his hands, and it is very much deserved.

Alistair Norman

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