Without wanting to push the metaphor too hard, watching Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar is a bit like going on a first date. There are moments when you wonder if you haven’t made a terrible mistake in going to see the film, and other moments when you are seduced by startling visual beauty or revelatory lines of dialogue. And like many a first date, the whole is a much more fulfilling and enjoyable experience than its parts.
In truth, I wasn’t expecting a lot. I was disappointed with the Dark Knight trilogy and was bored by Inception. But Interstellar impressed me not just as a good film, but possibly a great science fiction film. It touches on two aspects of science fiction – a sense of wonder and a personal human connection with the universe – that contribute to my love of the genre.
Some of the finest scenes in the film are those dealing with the implications of relativity on the passing of time; they carry a heavy emotional weight (and here I intentionally avoid the word ‘gravity’) that while entirely manipulative never succumb to melodrama.
All credit to producer Lynda Obst and physicist Kip Thorne for the original scenario, and Jonathan and Christopher Nolan for the script. All credit to McConaughey, Hathaway and Caine for their performances, and a special credit for the acting of Mackenzie Foy, Jessica Chastain and Ellen Burstyn for portraying the three ages of Murphy Cooper. And finally, all credit to Christopher Nolan for delivering a huge movie with huge ideas without ever losing a very human perspective.