Interstellar commits a cardinal sin of being predictable at the very start of the movie which keeps it from being a truly remarkable movie. This in my opinion is the first time that Nolan will be criticized of being too convenient. It was also the first time I felt a Nolan movie did not engage me right from the start, the running time gave leeway to flesh out the characters more which I felt compromised with the pacing at the beginning, his previous works had a hook which sweeps you in with an urgency that I felt was sorely lacking here. However, this issue is promptly resolved after the first 60 minutes, where you ease into, what probably is one of the most ambitious cinematic rides that you will have the pleasure of witnessing.
Matthew McConaughey is untouchable right now, he can do no wrong. One of the best performances of the year, he’s a major contender for the Oscars this year too. It was very eerie to see the kid who plays Casey Affleck channel him so well, Mackenzie Foy who plays a younger version of Jessica Chastain is a superb actress but sadly Chastain herself is not at her best and her younger counterpart has much more likability and a connect with the audience. Michael Caine and John Lithgow deliver exactly as expected of these legends. David Oyelowo though steals the scene with a single line that breaks your heart when he sets his eyes on McConnaughey and Hathway after a period of 24 years which was just hours but the relativity of time could not have been portrayed, wish there were more moments like this. The real heroes who salvage almost each scene with McConnaughey, are the robots TARS and CASE voiced by Bill Irwin and Josh Stewart respectively, who exude much more personality than their organic counterparts. Matt Damon’s crazy cameo though coming across as a bit overbearing and forced, does provide some amazing sequences which are complemented by some of the best Landscape Cinematography, last seen in Skyfall. The use of miniatures for the docking sequence is a work of art and I hope the designers get their due during the Awards Season. With Star Wars Episode VII employing miniatures also, I’m really hoping this art form makes a comeback. The scenes in space accompanied by Zimmer’s hauntingly beautiful score is jaw dropping. This is a great year for Cinema scores, Gone Girl being one among them. Zimmer seems to be a different beast and completely reinvents himself with some of his compositions, which for a moment I thought was by Tyler Bates, another brilliant composer.
I really wished the big reveal would have been a bit more nuanced and not as openly predictable as it should appear in the first line of dialogue itself. The supplement stories especially the one involving Casey Affleck seems to go nowhere and thus small segments like this build up to form a substantial amount of sloppy screen writing which is the true antagonist for Interstellar. Love it or hate it, this movie will only make you respect Stanley Kubrick more than any other, the things that he did 45 odd years ago have still not been bettered, Nolan did try his best here with the Wormhole sequence(the frames of which deserve to be in an Art Exhibit) and the shaky Black Hole sequence. Spielberg was originally attached to this project but dropped out due to its sheer complexity, for which alone, Nolan deserves a round of applause. It is a flawed masterpiece and will certainly be a talking point in his filmography in the years to come.