True Review

True Review: Interstellar

True Review: Interstellar

by Niharika Puri November 8 2014, 6:23 pm Estimated Reading Time: 2 mins, 48 secs

Director: Christopher Nolan

Cast: Matthew Mc Conaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine

Rating: 4 stars

If Gravity blew your mind as a high octane space thriller, Christopher Nolan far surpasses the concept, the genre and sci-fi storytelling itself with Interstellar. In true auteur style, the film is a layered, mind-bending rollercoaster through space, time, conflict and mathematical equations. But Memento, Inception and the like already prepped you up for that.

Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is a former pilot/engineer and, when we see him, a farmer who subsists with his family (father-in-law Donald, two children) in a bleak, dusty world caught up in the throes of an agrarian crisis. No food, no humanity, though the realisation comes too little and too late to the future generations who need to pick up the pieces of an over-consumptive era gone by.

The location is rather Smallville-esque. You almost expect the Kents to wave ‘howdy, neighbour’ to our hero’s family. In a more apocalyptic setting instead, you get the failing okra crop and are told in passing mention that the wheat crop has been extinct for seven years. You see the scarcity when Donald (John Lithgow) comments on how unnatural it is to be munching popcorn instead of hot dog while watching a baseball game.

In this scenario, schools modify their textbooks to teach students about the faked Apollo Missions on the Moon to bankrupt the Soviet Union. There are few resources and hence, little scope for cultivating scientific inquiry into a world beyond theirs. Given their current predicament, an alternate planet is the need of the hour.

Without going into much detail (savour them yourself), it’s safe to say that Cooper must don the space suit and zip into the great beyond with the dynamic team members like Amelia Brand (Anne Hathaway), Romilly (David Gyasi) and Doyle (Wes Bentley). The most memorable of the lot are CASE and TARS, the robotic twosome aka the multi-purpose droids that are highly reminiscent of the monolith and HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey (a much revered classic for the director).

A parallel track follows and engrosses with great inter-cutting of the family Cooper leaves behind. Daughter Murph must grow from a Mackenzie Foy to a stoic Jessica Chastain, effectively proving in plot twists ahead (to Cooper and to us) that the apple does not fall far from the tree.


There will be scientific jargon, the references of which will be lost on the uninitiated. Still, concepts like the Biblical Lazarus, wormhole, black hole and the shadowy ‘they’ that are frequently alluded to, find a simplistic enough explanation so that one can grasp the proceedings instead of losing the plot.

Even if that seems like an uphill task, Interstellar has enough visual candy to dazzle the eyes. Iceland makes for breath-taking planetary locations. The digital effects of raging tidal waves, alternate dimensions and the stunning, lens flaring beauty of outer space is complemented by the desolate silence and Hans Zimmer’s haunting soundtrack. Also, it is headlined by incredible A-listers and lead by the riveting trio of Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain.

If this package, complete with the surprisingly effective mushy drama, does not pack a whammy, precious little will.

Do yourself a favour, do the makers a favour and watch Interstellar in all its IMAX-ed glory.

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