In light of my recent parody review of the film (in case the writeup itself wasn’t noticeably condescending enough), I thought I’d share my actual thoughts on the film, since it was the big cinematic event of the weekend, and seemingly all that everyone in the filmic community was talking about.
And just to get this right out of the way from the beginning, I am not a worshiper of director Christopher Nolan. I think he’s overall a pretty solid filmmaker and he’s definitely made some stuff I really like a lot. But I personally wouldn’t rank him amongst the greatest living filmmakers, let alone of all time. And regarding his last two films in particular, I thought they were both respectably ambitious works, but also had a ton of major flaws, ranging from the pacing to sloppily written dialogue for instance, so much so that I can’t bring myself to call them anything more than ‘good’.
Which brings us to Interstellar, which appears to be Nolan’s least well received film in quite some time. There have been complaints hurled at this film for being overlong, heavy on exposition, and poorly structured, among other things. My response to those points is questioning where were these criticisms during Nolan’s last two films Obviously this shares a lot of the same issues as films like Inception and The Dark Knight Rises, but overall I would Interstellar a much better film than those two. In fact, I liked this a lot more than anything else I’ve seen from Nolan since The Prestige, which was my favorite film of his prior to seeing this.
From the looks of the trailers and promotional materials, this film was being propped up as Nolan’s stab at a 2001: A Space Odyssey type of ambitious science fiction. But now having seen it, I’d say it more closely resembles an extended episode of Star Trek, and that’s certainly not a bad thing. Much hoopla has been made over the film’s outstanding visuals, and I can hardly add to what’s already been said. Rest assured, I’m with the consensus in that department.
Another thing that Nolan has been known for in his career is the copious amounts of stunt casting in his films,, i.e. the casting of previously established character actors in what essentially amount to bit parts – lest we forget about the likes of Juno Temple and Matthew Modine in The Dark Knight Rises. Thankfully in this film, all the major players are given proper amounts of time to shine in their respective roles, aside from Topher Grace in an odd bit part.
All in all, while I can’t quite say I’m aboard the Christopher Nolan hype train just yet, I cannot deny the visceral impact this film had on me and for the first time in a long time, I’m with the general consensus in deriving much enjoyment from a Nolan film, without being too distracted by the shortcomings.