A Tide In The Affairs Of Men

There is certainly a tide in the affairs of successful film directors. After a couple of successes, they start to believe their own hype, and no one around them can say “no,  this is b*****ks”. After the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Peter Jackson generated the interminable King Kong. Martin Scorsese’s last effort was also an interminable, unpleasant celebration of excess,  in The Wolf of Wall Street, arguably a bad three hour film with a decent two hour film trying to get out. Now Christopher Nolan has done the same thing.

Today we subjected ourselves to the rambling mess which is Interstellar. I was really looking forward to this film. The premise was an interesting one, the trailers intriguing, and the Daily Mail’s critique encouraging.

What a disappointment. The concept may be interesting, but the execution is atrocious. For a start the diction is awful, making Jamaica Inn sound like a Radio 4 news bulletin in comparison. If you are going to tell a complex story of galactic scope, don’t allow your actors to mumble inaudibly, and don’t mask important dialogue with music or sound effects which completely drowns it out.

The story-telling is clumsy, so that Frances and I were frequently leaning over to one another and asking “what’s going on?”. We didn’t have to do that with Nolan’s even more complex Inception, but that fine, if complex film, feels like the work of a completely different director.

While we are great fans of several films with a time travel element, this one breaks the fundamental covenant that in return for suspension of disbelief the story must resolve itself neatly. The plot has major failures of causality, with the survival of the human race depending on a future invention by the survivors’ distant descendants, essentially magic. Other plot holes were equally evident.

The film is far too long. Like the other examples above, it seems as if no one was brave enough to say to Nolan in the light of his recent successes, “you must edit this down”.

It’s not even rescued by great effects, stunts or cinematography. Such effects as there are, are relatively simple, and very repetitive. There was simply no “wow” moment.

Interstellar is inaudible,  interminable, incomprehensible and implausible.

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