By ANJANI IMAN & JERRY PARK
Interstellar is a movie beyond expectation.
Christopher Nolan is known for his logically twisted movies, but the way that he artfully yet inexplicitly captured and conveyed the ideas of time, gravity, love, dimensions, fate and intelligence is both compelling and thought-provoking.
Not only was Interstellar aesthetically pleasing and strikingly bright, but it also told an emotionally stirring plot. The interactions between every character – father and daughter, friend and friend, friend and robot – is relatable. The connection between the plot and characters is so strong that without one part of the duo, the storyline would have collapsed.
The film deals with the travel of humanity through space and time. In the world of Interstellar, Earth has become uninhabitable for humans. Natural resources are so scarce that humanity has regressed to a primitive agricultural society, while technology and education decline under a corrupt dystopian government. From this planet of despair, Dr. Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) and Dr. Brand (Anne Hathaway) have no alternative but to travel through an unknown wormhole to find a sustainable planet to save humanity.
The great visual effects Nolan achieved were comparable to other great space movies, from the classic 2001: A Space Odyssey to the most recent Gravity. If Gravity graphically depicted the daunting journey of an astronaut lost in space, Interstellar realistically portrayed the struggles of travelling through space and time.
In IMAX, the film switches between square and rectangle dimensions throughout. A standard IMAX screen is about 53 by 73 feet, while a standard theater screen is 30 by 70 feet. A square aspect ratio seemingly filled the entire IMAX screen; instead of simply looking off to the sides, audience members found themselves looking upwards and downwards into the vast waves, ice mountains and great black galactic space that the brave astronauts Cooper and Brand traveled through. It consumed one’s peripheral vision from top to bottom, left to right, matching the tone of the movie: a novel, exploratory and exciting experience.
IMAX ensures that sound moves throughout your body, from the quivering at your feet to the vibrations in your chest. The heavy bass infiltrates your entire being, in the best way possible, giving the audience the chance to feel a small percentage of the force of gravity that the Interstellar astronauts endured.
Hans Zimmer’s scores have never disappointed, only heightening each emotion stirred by the film they accompany. Although initially the music seemed lacking, towards the middle and end of the movie, the combination of sounds became tied to specific relationships; the score became important to the characters of the movie, and thus important to the audience.
There were some points in the film when there was absolutely no audio. These instances were reserved especially for dramatic moments, with shots of outside the spacecraft, in outer space, where sound waves do not resonate. These points were empty, unsettling, but incredibly necessary. The lack of audio seemed to make the black space more black, the stars brighter and the scenes more intense. Very rarely is there ever no audio in a film; usually, film editors will fill no-dialogue scenes with room tone or blank noise. This decision was one of the most strategic film making decisions ever brought to the big screen.
As of November 19, Interstellar has rocketed past $100 million at the U.S. box office and $300 million worldwide as well. In addition, the film placed 12th highest user ratings of movies in IMDb, the largest movie rating website.
Amazingly and compellingly written, shot, designed and produced, Interstellar is a work of art. Andy Hong (Jr.) said, “Interstellar was undoubtedly an unprecedentedly ambitious project that not only met its goal of telling a good story, but also managed to send a powerful message of the human condition here on earth and our place in the universe.”