Interstellar is an imaginative movie, but a heavy-handed mix of personal sacrifice and theoretical physics doesn’t leave much room for subtle storytelling (or particularly memorable action). For a film that is rooted in the love between a father and his daughter, Interstellar offers surprisingly cold (and often stiff) drama – albeit drama that is buoyed by high-minded science fiction scenarios and arresting visuals. Nolan relies heavily on lengthy scenes of surface-level exposition, where characters debate or outright explain complicated physics and philosophical ideas, to educate the audience and ruminate on humanity (both good and bad) in the face of death and destruction.
t’s a smart foundation to juxtapose personal desire and our place in the larger universe – as well as evolved levels of understanding we have yet to achieve – but unlike Nolan’s earlier works, the filmmaker’s passion is most apparent in his science rather than his characters.Everyone involved provides a quality turn in their respective roles, but they’re shackled by straightforward arcs – limited exposition machines that add to the film’s thematic commentary and/or advance the plot, but aren’t particularly well-realized or as impactful as Nolan intends. To that end, in a cast that includes Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck, and Matt Damon, two of the most memorable characters are actually non-humans - quadrilateral-shaped robots, TARS and CASE, that aid the crew on their adventure (and inject much-needed humor into the proceedings).