Interstellar: Movie Review

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What happens when Christopher Nolan meets an extremely-difficult-to-understand-yet-fascinating concept?

The usual thing to happen is a great cinematic experience which will assure goosebumps, and Interstellar does give you several of those instances, but towards the end Nolan’s incredible imagination runs a wee bit wild.

Interstellar is a science fiction thriller and an emotional roller coaster which will keep you on the edge of your seats all the way through. But being a physics graduate, there are certain things that I can`t ignore. It’s just that, there are several moments where Nolan has tried bending Physics so much that it creates a few scientific flaws. Dealing with such delicate and complex subjects like inter-galactic journeys and worm hole can be unimaginable for several filmmakers, even scientists. Nolan has managed to fabulously pull this off with the help of theoretical physicist Kip Thorne.

Interstellar is the story of four astronauts going in search of a habitable planet, since Earth is on the brink of an ecological collapse with severe food scarcity resulting from regular crop failures. NASA is working in secret, since public should not find out the huge funding, to use the Gravitational anomaly near Saturn; a miraculously formed wormhole about 49 years ago, to reach another galaxy and find habitable planets. The team along with two robots in the space craft Endurance piloted by an ex-NASA pilot and engineer, sets out on a brave and magnificent expedition.

The problem with Interstellar is that Nolan`s imagination creeps into science, like a planet existing extremely close to a black hole or a wormhole coming into existence out of nowhere; both of which are questionable. Well, I guess this is what the fiction part of “science-fiction” constitutes. There are a few other qualms, regarding traversing a black-hole and sending messages from future to past. The narration is a bit slow compared to other Nolan movies and a little short of those marvelous one-liners and memorable dialogues which is a trademark of his epic movies. These won’t matter once you are into the Nolan trance.
Nolan brings out the best in actors and as usual, we have magnificent performances. Matthew McConaughey as Cooper gives a memorable act and moves your mind. Anne Hathaway is good as Dr. Amelia Brand. Jessica Chastain, as Cooper’s grown up daughter Murphy, delivers a brilliant performance. Michael Caine, a constant for Nolan Movies, is great as usual. All the others including Matt Damon, David Gyasi, Casey Affleck and Mackenzie Foy have delivered wonderfully.
Coming to the technical side, ‘compromise’ is not a word in Nolan`s repertoire even if he is dealing with things which humans find difficult to imagine. The movie has such impressive graphics that it has led to a research paper on computer graphics by Kip Thorne. Some of the greatest effects, real and & computer generated, in the history of filmmaking keeps you in awe right till the end. Brilliant brothers, Christopher and Jonathan Nolan has combined to script a blistering space epic, despite the fact that there are some big question marks over the logical possibility of certain events in the tale. Cinematography by Hoyte van Hoyetema and music by Hans Zimmer are out of this world. They engross you with the intense emotions of love, awe and despair.
Quoting from Nolan’s movie “Prestige”, “The secret impresses no one. The trick you use it for is everything.”

Interstellar is a fascinating cosmic feast which is as close to an actual interstellar travel that anyone has reached. Christopher Nolan emphatically manages to keep the viewers in awe of science. At same time, never lets them them worry about the theory. It’s like a magic trick. Audience loves magic even though they don`t know what is behind it. Interstellar is a piece of magic, you may not understand the secrets behind it, yet you will drown in awe.
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Man’s reach exceeds his imagination!!!

In the movie Prestige(novel by Christopher Priest), magician Robert Angier, after traversing over a 100 yards in a second, proclaims to the awe struck audience:

“Man’s reach exceeds his imagination”

Movies transport you to different worlds and times while your are watching it. You get to see totally cool things, the speck of someones outrageous imagination. It is a world of dreams and nightmares. But what you see is just a beautiful facade. Once the movie ends( or after a while), you will be brought back down to reality. Continue reading

The window

It is happening outside and I am resting on my armchair, scribbling in my green notebook. There is a soft cold light in the living room from the four sets of open windows. As a photographer, I love window lighting. It is one of the most attractive kinds of lighting, especially for portraits and still life. So during daytime, when I am home, I switch off all the other lights and keep the windows open and curtains drawn apart

Continue reading

Munnnariyippu(caution) : film review

Numbness; that was what I felt after watching Munnariyippu. It was not my body but my brain that got numb. I could see or feel myself smiling and shaking, in awe, at the end of that movie. It was such a unique feeling which I have felt only on rare occasions. I would call it “pure awesomeness”. I felt that way for almost an hour or so. I couldn`t remember anything from my bus journey from city to home. I even struggled to pay for the bus ticket; I couldn`t pull together my senses and find the purse in my back pocket. I was hooked to the climax.

I think I am overreacting here, may be because I was so into that movie. But, I don`t care. I got to watch a Malayalam movie so special that I feel like placing it place it beside those cult classics like usual suspects or fight club or seven. If I describe exactly what I felt, I would be spoiling the climax for those folks who have not yet seen the movie.

 I felt that there were a few unanswered questions at the end or may be, the filmmaker hopes the audience to assume or use their imagination, I don`t know. But the thing is, after watching it you won`t really care about the unanswered questions, at least for a while. All credit to Venu for a brilliant movie    (or, story and climax) and cinematography (nothing fancy, kept it very simple). I am not a screenplay expert, but I think R. Unni has done a good job. On the whole, the movie is very real and entertaining in my opinion. Likewise, performances of the actors & actresses were also highly convincing. Bijibal has done a great job with the background score.

Mammotty is back with a bang. His subtle expressions were tremendous and so engaging, at times. Last but not the least, Aparna Gopinath was simply amazing. Given her inexperience at this level, I would say she narrowly trumped Mammotty in performance. I look forward to see wonderful performances from her in future.

Roger Federer

Every time Federer loses a match, I am usually heart broken. But this time around, I did not feel so sad. I felt some sort of bliss, watching that great man smile, even though he lost a tough match. Going into this tournament people rejected him saying he was just too old for this sort of affair and many predicted that he won`t even reach the Semis. Roger Federer, the 32 year OLD MAN, blitzed every one of his young opponents and reached the final with considerable ease. There he lost. But he gave a match that Djokovic(he is a beast!!!) and all the people across the world who watched it, won`t forget for a really long time.

I am lucky to have witnessed one of the greatest matches of all time and happy to see the artist who once ruled the tennis world(except French open finals), presently dethroned by youth, continue playing the game and giving the young brigades a run for their money, just because he loves the game. Its one of the toughest and bravest things a person can do.i.e. falling down from the mountain of success and still enjoying himself and the game. He had been an inspiring figure for me since I first started to watch tennis and hopefully will continue to be like that for a long time.

At the end of that grueling game which he lost, he said with a charming, calm, blissful smile, ” I`ll be back next year “. Critics and naysayers, now you guys know why he is the greatest tennis player and one of the greatest sporting icons of all time, and why he should be left alone to do what he loves doing.