Most of us grew up watching brainless Bollywood movies and their intensity of dumbness has only increased lately. Keeping that in mind, we are probably not the right audience to appreciate the brain-challenging movies Christopher Nolan produces on a timely basis.
Most of his movies, for instance, Memento, Inception, and Interstellar recently, are too taxing for an audience that contributes to multi-crore nonsenses like Chennai Express (pardon the judgment).
nd not to take anything away from some excellent movies within Bollywood too, but they don’t do that well box-office-wise. What makes Christopher Nolan the person, the director, the producer that he is?
During his college days, he shot two short films – Tarantella and Larceny with very limited resources. Right after graduation, he directed another short – Doodlebug which gave an early glimpse of his now trademark interconnected storylines.
He directed his first feature film Following which he shot on a modest budget of $6000 was based on his own experience of living in London and having his house burgled.
His next movie Memento, which was based on a short story by his brother Jonathan brought him well-deserved accolades from all corners of the movie fraternity. He adopted a bold method of story-telling – the movie’s story was in reverse.
The success of Memento landed him a directorial job in Insomnia, a psychological thriller starring Hollywood bigwigs Al Pacino, Robin Williams, and Hillary Swank.
Then came the turning point in his career as he got a chance to revive the Batman franchise which established Christopher Nolan as an acclaimed director and drew comparisons between Christian Bale’s batman and that of Michael Keaton.
After the first movie of the franchise (Batman Begins), he directed The Prestige with a gritty storyline based on the rivalry of two magicians played by Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman. He continued with the Batman trilogy with The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises(2012).
In 2010, Nolan directed the thought-provoking sci-fi movie Inception which was well received by viewers and critics alike.
Recently, Nolan directed the movie Interstellar which depicted an interstellar voyage to the farthest borders of our scientific understanding. It received appreciation from the physicist community for its scientific accuracy and seamless blending with fiction.
Christopher Nolan has adapted the non-linear mode of storytelling in his movies which forces the viewer to marvel at the intricacy of his skill.
Some of his movies are not that easy to understand, for instance, the reverse storytelling in Memento and the multi-level dream sequences and the fine line between dreams and reality in Inception. His movies are gripping, intelligent, and thought-provoking.
In Memento, he experimented with reverse storytelling to depict the story from the protagonist’s perspective who suffered from a defective memory. This movie inspired the Bollywood movie Ghajini which carefully removed the complex plot used in Memento. In the Batman trilogy,
Nolan showed the darkness and subdued personality of the Dark Knight and followed his journey from being a man to being more than a man, a symbol. He handled one of the most popular comic characters and delicately handled the essence of Batman and his moral, emotional, and physical conflicts with the antagonists.
In the most recent sci-fi adventure flick, Nolan takes us on a journey far away into the galaxy with a screenplay studded with scientific theories instead of no brainer logic-less fiction. His treatment of the plot was appreciated by renowned astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson and the scientific community by and large.
Nolan’s brand of cinema however comes packed with criticism. One of the arguments used against his style is that his movies more often than naught have ambiguous endings, Inception being the perfect example.
But this hardly qualifies as legitimate criticism. His movies surely spark more theories than provide answers but that is the genius of Nolan. Also, his movies are said to be too dark, all brains and no heart.
But come to think of it, characters in his movies are more grounded and closer to reality, highlighting the fact that not every aspect of life is cheerful.
Christopher Nolan’s journey as a director, writer, and producer is studded with critical and commercial successes right from his directorial debut Following to the very recent space adventure Interstellar. He is widely regarded as one of the pioneers in his brand of cinema and one of the best directors in the business.
He leads the way in Hollywood personalities who have missed on the coveted Academy Awards, deserving he surely is. It’s not easy being both critically and commercially successful. Or in other words, it’s not easy being Christopher Nolan.