At The Omniplex: ‘Interstellar’

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By John Lyons

It’s 2am in the early hours of Sunday morning. The biggest film of the year – ‘Interstellar’ – has been on release for two days, and so far I’ve seen it twice.

Even though my second viewing of the film ended over two hours ago, the ‘Interstellar’ conversation is currently still in full swing in my living room.

Ashtrays are overflowing, empty coffee mugs are scattered about the place, and everyone’s voices are overlapping in an endless stream of observations and theories (we may or may not also be complaining about the fact that the humble people of Tralee didn’t burst into uproarious applause at the end of the film).

Needless to say, director Christopher Nolan has us firmly in his grasp, and not for the first time.

Nolan is a rare breed of filmmaker. He makes these huge big-budget Hollywood Blockbusters that are geared towards the widest audience possible.

But at the same time, all of his films are jam-packed with so much depth and thought-provoking content that each one of them is more than deserving of careful dissection and analysis.

While ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ was this year’s love letter to the original ‘Star Wars’ film, ‘Interstellar’ is a passionate ode to Nolan’s favourite film, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’.

The teaser trailer for ‘Interstellar’ was released about a year ago, and after watching it I was listening to a podcast in which a group of film critics argued that there was no need for any more trailers for ‘Interstellar’.

The first one was so brief and vague that it would be really interesting to watch the film without knowing anything else about it.

I liked their thought process, a lot.

So over the course of the last year, I actively avoided every single trailer and clip that was released for ‘Interstellar’. I wanted to go into the film completely blind.

And last Friday, that’s exactly what I did.

‘Interstellar’, on one hand, is standard Nolan affair. It has big ideas, a completely unique vision, high-minded ambition, and a cast that’s way too big. On the other hand, ‘Interstellar’ is more slowly paced, ambiguous and sentimental than we’re used to seeing from the likes of Nolan.

Set in the not-too-distant future, ‘Interstellar’ stars Matthew McConaughey as Cooper, an ex-NASA test pilot who’s now living on his farm with his children.

The Earth is slowly decaying, and it’s clear that the world will no longer be a habitable place for the human race in the generations to come.

Cooper has an encounter with a team of leading scientists at NASA, who beg him to lead an expedition into a wormhole near Saturn, in order to search for other planets in the galaxy that can sustain human life.

‘Interstellar’ has an epic scope that boasts spectacular, awe-inspiring visuals which are combined with beautiful-yet-desolate foreign landscapes in order to convey the vast unknown nature of outer space. The suspense is fantastic, there’s plenty of gasp-inducing moments of pure shock, and at times the film is incredibly moving.

Even the sound mixing is so impressive that it almost warrants an entire review itself. There are moments in the film where you can actually feel heavy vibrations in the floor, and it adds to the sense of immersion in a way that I never would’ve imagined possible.

Hans Zimmer’s score is one of the best that he’s composed in his entire career. It gives the film it’s soul, as well as adding a real operatic quality to the visuals.

However, the big question must be addressed: ‘Does ‘Interstellar’ live up to the hype?’

Despite all my praises so far, that is an extremely tough question.

This film is unlike anything I’ve seen before. Trying to describe the damn thing is a task itself. It’s not for everyone.

Some folks will find the film to be amazing, beautiful and a massive cinematic achievement. Others may find it long, drawn out, and downright confusing. It’s a film destined to divide opinion.

But regardless, ‘Interstellar’ is a film that needs to be seen.

It’s been such a long time since I’ve seen a film that so defiantly demands to be viewed on the largest screen possible. ’Interstellar’ is a true cinematic experience. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since I first saw it, and I imagine that ‘Interstellar’ won’t leave my mind for quite some time.

Christopher Nolan has crafted a phenomenal film. Nolan’s films are so ambitious and carry such high expectations that the fact that he still manages not only to deliver, but exceed our expectations time and time again, proves that he’s one of the great visual storytellers of our time.

I can’t recommend this film enough, and while I can’t guarantee whether you’ll love it or hate it, I can guarantee that watching the film is an experience in itself.

Do yourself a favour and go see it.


Follow John Lyons on Twitter: @Fireinthelyons

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