After Gravity wiped the board clean at the Academy awards this year, it would appear that Science Fiction was finally appealing to popular audiences and competing with the dramas and emotional blockbusters that so often dominate award ceremonies.
And now it seems that Science Fiction really has turned a corner with this new Christopher Nolan epic, Interstellar.
After writing and directing some of the most monumental films of the 21st century including The Dark Knight (2008), Memento (2000) and the brain-eating beast Inception (2010), there were high hopes for Nolan’s new ambitious project in space.
For Interstellar, the plot does not run backwards, nor does it attempt to explain dreams within dreams but instead we are introduced to the idea of a galaxy within a galaxy – wormholes, black holes and gravitational anomalies.
The story follows retired NASA pilot, Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), having been forced to give up his dreams to take care of his two children and attempt to maintain a farm while America has turned into a dustbowl, with devastating dust storms leaving humanity deprived of food with deteriorating health and little resources left on earth to keep the human race alive.
Enter Professor Brand (Michael Cane) and team of NASA scientists, including his daughter played by Anne Hathaway who recruit Cooper on a mission to find a suitable planet for the human race to recolonize. It may sound familiar – it’s one man saving the world.
Of course it isn’t that simple. This is Christopher Nolan, after all. With mind-boggling detail, devastating plot twists and unpredictable narrative turns, only a scientific genius can possibly hope to follow and understand the complexity of this story.
In some ways this is fantastic. In a similar way to Donnie Darko, each audience member can lose sleepless nights to creating theories to explain the film’s narrative. In other ways, this has caused a negative response with many members having spotted faults in the plot while others have spent the entire two hours 50 minutes in disbelief as the story becomes more and more ridiculous.
As expected from the director’s reputation, Interstellar is different, complex, interpretive and ingenious. And long. It successfully created tension, emotional climaxes and powerful characters and some have named it as yet another phenomenon of David Nolan. But be warned, while it is undoubtedly a spectacle, it is certainly not for everyone and those with an eye for authenticity and love for short simple pleasing stories are likely to be disappointed.