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Random thoughts about sound and vision.

Reassuringly Expansive - Interstellar review

To paraphrase Douglas Adams: INTERSTELLAR is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think INCEPTION's a big film, but that's just peanuts to INTERSTELLAR...

Director and co-writer Christopher Nolan has taken the super-size option with his latest epic. As planet Earth withers on the vine, mankind needs to find somewhere else to survive - whether in this galaxy or the next. A team, led by Matthew McConaughey, heads off into space and a wormhole which may take them to a planet suitable enough to sustain human life...and our race.

Vast in scope, stuffed to bursting with ideas, INTERSTELLAR has spectacle in abundance. Although even watching it in IMAX, you get this weird feeling that you're being shortchanged. That the massive screen is somehow cramping the film's style, that the near three hour runtime is restricting Nolan's vision. INTERSTELLAR is the proverbial quart in a pint pot, a movie overflowing with purpose, ambition and scale.

All of which is to be naturally applauded. In an era of lowest-denominator comedies and cookie-cutter sequels, ambitious, original cinema is a rare commodity these days. When a film like INTERSTELLAR comes along, it fully deserves our acknowledgment and our cheers; it reminds us of how powerful and richly rewarding the cinematic experience can be.

Not that we should completely turn off our critical faculties. A closer look at Nolan's epic reveals several plot points left unforgivably fuzzy. Scientific explanations - crucial to the audience's understanding of key parts of the story - have been clumsily shoved into the dialogue. An extended sequence on a water-covered planet - whilst undeniably exciting and spectacular - is completely redundant. And don't get me started on that ending, which essentially makes most of what has gone before completely pointless.

Yet in the scale of things, these are merely nitpicks. INTERSTELLAR is not 2001: A Space Odyssey - what films are? - but it is still a brave, intelligent, thought-provoking addition to the cinema of science fiction. 

Most importantly of all, INTERSTELLAR endorses us - the human race. It states that as a species, we deserve our place in the cosmos, that we have the determination to survive - no matter what the odds. A positive message to be welcomed in these nihilistic times.