I saw Interstellar last night. Now I had seen the trailer (which thankfully doesn’t give away much) but I’d avoided any other information about it, as I usually do these days with films I really want to see, and this film definitely benefits from not knowing much about the plot before you go in. Speaking of the plot I do have a few questions but I’m going to talk about those in separate, spoiler-filled section below. There’ll be plenty of warning. Here’s the non-spoiler review I posted on rinema:
One of the best science fiction epics in years, and personally I think the comparisons with 2001 are justified. It’s long and has three distinct sections, each quite different from the other, but works as a whole. The cast is great, the action scenes are tense and the otherwordly scenes interestingly visualised. Hans Zimmer’s minimalist score is a thing of majestic beauty, and the effects work is surprisingly restrained and realistic.
I have a couple of nitpicks with the plot: it’s clever and twisty; sometimes too twisty for its own good, but I’m willing to let them slide because of the way the film made me feel, the ideas and the vision. See it on the biggest screen you can find.
I wanted to download the soundtrack as soon as I got home but it turns out it’s not available until 18th November. Also, avclub.com’s review makes some interesting points, although it also contains a couple of mild spoilers.
Now, I have a few more detailed thoughts about the films’ plot, so I’m going to leave a big space here so that you don’t see them by accident. Only read on if you’ve already seen Interstellar, or if you really don’t mind having the whole plot revealed. Some of these may seem fairly large plot holes once you stop to think about them, but to be honest they really didn’t affect my enjoyment of the film too much while I was watching it.
- Hello, Matt Damon, in a surprise supporting role as the cowardly villain! They managed to keep that quiet, didn’t they?
- Thinking about it afterwards, it’s a bit clichéd how the hero is an all-American butch, handsome pilot, while the rest of the crew are scientists who are all portrayed as weak or ineffective in some way. Apart from their scientific expertise, obviously. But it’s telling that Coop’s only “flaw” is his love for the daughter he left behind. When Anne Hathaway’s character is similarly swayed by her feelings for an old lover it’s presented as selfish and immature, compared to McConaughey’s parental feelings.
- The way the plot loops around is clever, if a little predictable, but I find it a little annoying when the supposed aliens turn out to be future humans. “It was us all along!” It makes the universe seem smaller. Just when the story was getting bigger and expanding our horizons, it turns out that the whole thing is just about one guy and his daughter.
- So once we know that the “they” providing a helping hand by creating the wormhole are in fact humans from a distant future, the question becomes: why? They wanted to ensure humanity’s survival by reaching into the past and giving us the scientific insights necessary to avoid disaster. And the easiest way to do this was to lure us out to Saturn, through a wormhole, and then hope that events would force one of us into a black hole and over the event horizon so that he could see through time to his daughter’s bedroom and figure out that he needed to send her singularity-related data in Morse code by twitching the second hand of her watch? Convoluted, much? Couldn’t they have just sent that information themselves directly to any one of the NASA scientists (Michael Caine, for example)? No, because then there would be no movie.
- How does Murph figure out that her father is the “ghost”, communicating with her across time and space? She realises it just at the moment that the audience does. But it’s been explained to us; for her it seems an unlikely intuitive leap.