You clearly do not know me well enough if you don’t already know of my love for Christopher Nolan and the genius that he is. I have always wondered how could people have a favorite director because naive me wouldn’t know the enormous influence a director has in telling the story. Well, let’s just say I was lost in the world of bad movies till I watched Inception. Inception was my first Christopher Nolan movie and it blew my mind. I watched it in the theatre 3 times because I just couldn’t help myself. It was truly a masterpiece and that’s when I fell head over heels for the genius of Christopher Nolan.
The next movie of his that I watched was Interstellar and till today, it is my all-time favorite movie. I am just flabbergasted how this amazing director has not won an Oscar for best movie or whatever. (Then again, Oscars are bullshit and rigged.) Interstellar blew my mind without me realizing it. I was very skeptical before watching it and not only because I had no idea what it is about but I was not a fan of space travel or anything sci-fi. Technically, the movie is not sci-fi but it was filled with loads of scientific jargon made simple for physics stupid people like me and according to real scientists, it was all accurate. Something rare in most Hollywood movies. I watched Interstellar 3 times. Imax was still the best because I felt like I was in space.
The twists and turns in the movie just completely set me at the edge of my seat. (okay who knew Matt Damon was gonna pop out) To me, those who didn’t appreciate Interstellar have no right to call themselves movie lovers because it was the ultimate masterpiece of film making I have ever watched. Don’t even get me started on the Batman trilogy. He is a total game-changer when making superhero movies. (I’m sorry but Marvel is a let down for all its hype. But I still love Captain America.) One of his first few big films was Memento that set my mind in a headache but left me speechless at the end.
His movies are not just pretty to watch with all the special effects and illusions. But the storyline (which he also writes – how amazing is this man) has so many twists and turns that always keep me on the edge of my seat. I always leave the theatre with so many questions. One of the best parts of his movies is how the unexpected always happens and that he always leaves the ending open-ended. Does Cobb’s totem continue spinning? Does Leonard continue killing John G? Does Coop eventually save Dr. Brand? Is Batman just gonna retire in France and pretend that Alfred is just a passer-by? So many questions so little time. I could be talking about all the theories in the films and not just the endings for days. That is what makes good movies. When they do not just set a story from A to Z.
He doesn’t leave plot holes but rather he gives the viewers room to toy with their own theory and the plot. Also, we do not understand life simply as just watching it pass by. We have to actively participate in the story and compare it with our own views and beliefs. That is what makes life complicated. His movies are more relatable and realistic to me than those “based on a true story” biographies. Also, do you realize that they are no true heroes and villains in his movies? Because they are no heroes and villains or simple right and wrong in life. Nobody is truly evil or good. All of us are complicated beings with varying levels of good and bad. The truth is we live in a very gray-area world.
He puts so much thought into his work. I can tell the amount of work and thought he puts in for all his films because of the multi-faceted nature of the stories. He even takes the time to ensure the scientific theories are accurate because that is how much pride and thought he puts into his masterpieces, unlike most movies who just want to hit box office gold. A real storyteller does it right and that story teller’s name is Christopher Nolan.
The most important element of all of Christopher Nolan’s films besides the effects and crazy plots is the element of humanity. Behind all those visual effects and surprising plot twists is a simple human story. He appeals to the simple idea of humanity and how it is reflected in the bigger picture of life. In Interstellar, it was not about the fancy space equipment and super smart scientist that found a solution to save people on Earth. It was the love of a father for his daughter that gave them the key to propelling humans into Space. In Dunkirk, the secret to a successful rescue of almost 400,000 soldiers was not a military strategy or fancy military equipment. It was the humanity of fellow citizens who risked their lives to save all those soldiers. In Inception, when planting the idea in order to dismantle the business empire, they didn’t use blackmail or corporate spies(well, maybe they kinda did but not the point). They planted a simple idea of a son yearning for the love and acceptance from his father.
His stories have this way of having complicated multi-layered plots that all boils down to one thing which matters most. That is humanity. We are nothing as people if not for our humanity. It makes the biggest difference in anything and everything we do. We can be crazy smart or have the most advanced technology in the universe but what makes us different than other species is our humanity. It is our human story that matters the most in this unpredictable plot twist world that we live in. All his stories appeal to the basic instinct which is our humanity.
I don’t know about you but to me, Christopher Nolan is a true visionary and genius. I hope he never stops making films because then I wouldn’t have anything else to watch.
So Christopher Nolan, thank you. Because of you, I can truly appreciate a good film. It is an honor to watch your films. I kid you not, it would be a dream to pick your brain someday.