According to Christopher Nolan, I’m supposed to watch this movie more than once to fully understand it. No thanks. I have way too much on my plate to devote another three hours to trying to decipher each ridiculous frame of Nolan’s recent trip down pretentiousness. I say all of this as a fan of his work. I was a big supporter of ‘The Dark Knight’, and I mourned his Oscar snub since his direction of that film (really, the whole Batman trilogy) was brilliant and he personally recreated what the Superhero genre could look like. I also adore ‘Inception’ and find all the flack it gets for being overwrought to be preposterous since it’s highly understandable, beautifully woven and articulated and thoroughly thought out. I’m a fan of his, a real fan (not a rabid fanboy) and so I say all of this with love:
“Chris, EDIT YOUR NEXT MOVIE!”
And by edit, I don’t mean in the way the film is spliced; I mean edit your ideas because you have too many of them and they are tearing apart the seams of your film.
|Are you following this, because I'm not...|
‘Interstellar’ was always that film that was kind of set up to fail. The synopsis for the film was kept strictly under wraps, with only a singular plot point known; black holes. It was based off of research done by Dr. Kip Thorne and was approached from a ‘let’s make this logical’ standpoint, which was enforced by Thorne himself, who stated that nothing in the script could violate physical laws, and that any speculations made within the screenplay needed to be steeped in actual science and not imagination. This is a really heavy load to carry, especially for someone like Nolan.
Part of me feels like this weight was so heavy the entire ending was basically stripped of any real explanation as an attempt to say that it was not deviating from preexisting laws, since it’s just there and not really developed.
Here is my issue with ‘Interstellar’; I never got a handle on what was happening. Now I’m sure that Nolan’s legions of defenders are going to say that this is because I’m stupid and that Nolan’s genius is above my intellect, but I don’t care. This was messy with so many plot-point ideas tossed into the air and none of them truly expounded on. There were longwinded monologues placed into the fabric of the film that felt out of place and unnecessary, despite how moving they were supposed to be (like, the whole love speech Hathaway gives is beautifully delivered and yet makes no lasting impact because it doesn’t matter in the long run). The play on space/time travel is interesting and yet void of real subtext, wordy and yet incomplete feeling with time wasted on a barrage of moments that feel pointless and absurd. I found it extremely difficult, impossible even, to engage with this storyline, and the lack of character development for anyone outside of Cooper made the film feel grossly underdeveloped.
|If only I understood why all of this was happening to me...|
And then there was that ending, that weird, strange, dumb ending with no explanations, open-ended theories and a chunkily dropped ball of a finale.
When those books were falling off the shelf and Cooper was trying to explain to TARS what was happening I was sitting there with my brain pressed firmly against my skull as it was trying to leave my body and beat my television screen.
But it’s a pretty film; gorgeously lensed and framed and yet nothing wholly revolutionary, with the effects in ‘Gravity’ being more seamless and impactful in my eyes, and the score, while effective in parts, never stirred me the way I expected. Certain moments here were exciting and executed wonderfully, but Nolan is known for the way he constructs his film, and this is no exception. I don’t take offence with any of that. Nolan’s direction is really good, and the film moves with grace from scene to scene; it just makes no sense and is trying so hard to tell you that it does make sense that it becomes exhausting and aggravating.
|I think I dropped the last few pages of my script in there...|
I actually really liked the Matt Damon sub-plot, which I found to add a sense of fear and tension that the rest of the film was really missing, but everything that happened after that was a complete and utter mess.
I'd give this a C, I think, maybe less. There are aspects of this that were great, but the conception was far better than the construction, script-wise, and that makes for a head-spinning bore of a finished product that I have no desire to revisit.