Review: Interstellar

@FrankDJS and I braved yesterday afternoon’s blustery weather and went to see Interstellar in our local picture-house. I have to admit, I was bracing myself for its three-hour duration (plus ads and trailers!) but it actually flew by.

It’s visually impressive and the soundtrack is mind-blowing. It was very reminiscent of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (I’m sure I’m not the only one who noticed the similarities with both score and presence of black oblongs throughout?)

In fact, much of the storyline and the way the details were delivered reminded me of Arthur C. Clarke’s novels – in a good way.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t really see where an edit could be made to reduce its length, without detracting from the central story. They needed to explain the state of the Earth and the impact climate change and blight made on crop production. They also needed to invest time in explaining relativity and time – although it wasn’t exactly accurate, or – judging by the comments in the cinema behind me – accessible to all.

In fact, when the lights came up at the end, the only comment I heard was “What a complicated film!”

Again, your mileage may vary. You’ll enjoy it if you like adventures in space, combined with deep meaning-of-life stuff. You won’t like it if you’re a fan of 90-minute, neatly-wrapped-up Hollywood hits. It leaves the audience with a level of ambiguity at the end which was (for me) a welcome change.

There are some great action shots, some lovely visual effects and some real heart-in-the-mouth scenes – physical danger and emotional heart-wrenching stuff. I was bought in from the very beginning but acknowledge that my attention span may be a little longer than some cinema-goers.

I’m a sci-fi fan and have already visited similar themes in the many sci-fi books I’ve read over the years. If you’re new to sci-fi, or not a major fan in the first place, it’s better to think of it as a disaster movie rather than something like Star Wars.

I’d recommend it to anyone who was a fan of Nolan’s earlier films. There’s a lovely build-up throughout but a lack of a definitive end-of-narrative. You can interpret it as you wish. I liked that, but many may not.

Finally, it’s definitely a film to be enjoyed on the big screen. The imagery and soundtrack will lose a lot in translation to your home TV or tablet.


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