Film Focus: Epic Interstellar ‘beyond my understanding’


The Christopher Nolan epic Interstellar

Last week a close friend issued a stark warning regarding the Christopher Nolan sci-fi epic ‘Interstellar’: “Not a good movie to see with a hangover. Very intense. Mentally and emotionally.

So when Wednesday rolled around there was no danger of me sneaking in a few quick pints before the cinema. As I would learn some 169 minutes later, every last bit of my intellect and memories of GCSE Physics would be required to make sense of the latest Nolan blockbuster.

First things first, if you are expecting an action-packed , fast-paced rollercoaster ride akin to the Batman trilogy then keep the £6 in your pocket. To borrow a line from the film; “beyond our understanding” would best describe my own and the majority of the audience’s feelings towards this movie. I was never much for science in school so when talk began of wormholes and intergalactic portals the complexities of the plot did intimidate me, but in truth it didn’t take away from what is a cinematic masterpiece.

The film tells the story of former NASA pilot turned farmer Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) , who lives in a not too distant world where the population has effectively run out of food. This forces widower Cooper to leave his daughter Murph and son Tom to embark, with fellow NASA explorers, upon the most important mission in human history; travelling beyond this galaxy to discover whether mankind has a future among the stars. The ideas are complex, but even with my limited scientific knowledge, they are on the face of it, plausible.

At almost three hours this is a long stint in the cinema, especially for the man who decided to buy a large coke and has a small bladder, but the sheer ambition, scale and beauty of the distant worlds created by Nolan is worth the admission fee alone.

The film may last for 169 minutes, but crucially it doesn’t feel that way. While it is an unashamedly science-fiction film, it is also  personal and emotional. McConaughey is no longer the actor who garners attention by taking his shirt off, he is the man that holds this big-budget blockbuster together, balancing the internal struggle of likely never seeing his family again and the pressure of maintaining the survival of the human race.

I’m not ashamed to admit it this film is ‘beyond my understanding’, but who says that is a bad thing? This is a movie of epic proportions that deserves to be seen on the big-screen.
You might not get it, but then again not everyone is a theoretical physicist.


Another big-budget Nolan epic that breathtakingly captures the beauty and wonder of the galaxy. You might not understand it, but you will appreciate it.

Rating ***

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