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INTERReleased: 2014

Directed By: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway

Certificate: 12A

‘Do not go gentle into that good night; Old age should burn and rave at close of day. Rage, rage against the dying of the light’.

The elegant words of Dylan Thomas uttered by Michael Caine’s Professor Brand. In an unpredictable time where the wounded big-budget monopoly has stagnated, heavily reliant on the revival of yesteryear successes to retain broad audience enthusiasm, the always-developing mind of Christopher Nolan refuses to sleep, taking millions to rebel against the fragile ‘Hollywood’ machine as he attempts to rehabilitate the image and thought process of the ‘blockbuster’.

For all his elaborate narrative trickery, it’s the hybridisation of established genres that have anchored his works. The Mission Impossible style espionage and psychological warfare of Inception. The ‘rise and fall’ gangster epic trajectory fused with the superhuman thrills of his ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy. Interstellar is inevitably no exception, slowly emerging as his most audacious effort.

In its early infancy, the film is a dust-covered near-future everyman drama. The basic requirements of food and water, in unforgivably short supply as our planet struggles to sustain human life in a harsh environment. Our ‘guide’ through such terrain is Matthew McConaughey’s gruff ex-test pilot Cooper, initially dealing with the fantastical mind of daughter Murph (Mackenzie Foy) and educational superiors as he pleads the case for son Tom (Timothee Chalamet).

Their plight desperate, the last place they expect a potential solution to present itself is through the fiendish tumbling of books from a shelf. Murph’s ‘ghost’ theory tough to comprehend, this only prompts the involvement of Nolan mainstay Caine’s Professor Brand. The work of NASA significantly downscaled accentuating the difficulties faced, it is confirmed to Cooper a wormhole has been discovered. Brand firm in his belief that the human race will cease to exist on Earth unless we find a new ‘home’ to colonize, Cooper reluctantly agrees to pilot spacecraft Endurance and lead a potentially life-prolonging mission travelling far beyond the realms of our solar system.

Previously toying with the dreams that often confine our head space, Nolan heading into outer space presents ample opportunity for the director to wrestle with worthier questions. The science instilled may be sound, but it’s the resonating relatable of agonising over the lasting impact of the risky routes taken by our generation, how they may aid or hinder the next generation and their place in this world that dominates.

Many have been compelled to compare Interstellar to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey with its aesthetic and grand themes. The film’s tonal progression efficiently leaps from Spielberg-esque sentimentality to stunning space opera, arriving at engrossing existentialism heavy on philosophical musing, prompting arguably more fitting comparisons with Terrence Malick’s The Tree Of Life and Darren Aronfosky’s The Fountain, aided by Hans Zimmer’s ethereal, spine-tingling score.

Occasionally criticised for the mechanical nature of his storytelling, Nolan is far from cold and calculated in his approach here. The overwhelming transcendent beauty of its story overcoming the sporadically dodgy dialogue is brilliantly realised by its cast, with McConaughey’s heroics complimented by terrific, plentiful female turns, most notably Mackenzie Foy’s and Jessica Chastain’s heart-breaking/resentful dual role as Murph.

‘We’re still pioneers. we barely begun. Our greatest accomplishments cannot be behind us, cause our destiny lies above us’. Remaining true to his narrative and visual tapestry whilst broadening his horizons even further. The emotionally-charged mind-bending majesty of Interstellar confirms Nolan as indeed that. A pioneer.

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