The Nolan Way

— Sourav Roy

Movies of Christopher Nolan have always amazed me. Right from the time when I watched ‘The Batman Begins’ back in 2007. That time like other school goers I was in 10th standard and obviously had a huge attraction towards the batman series. Like others of the same age I also used to consider myself an ardent fan of this superhero character. The Gotham city, the dark atmosphere, The Joker and on top of all The Batman was a world full of fascination to me. Then for the first time I saw the movie ‘The Batman Begins’ as got the DVD from a friend. Didn’t know who was the director, neither I knew who was the actor who played batman. Whoever be it just fell in love with the movie. The subdued story telling process just amazed me. I remember watching the movie 3 times over 3 consecutive days. It was such an amazing experience.

The very next day, started looking for the director name and found it was Christopher Nolan. By that time Nolan already was an established director in Hollywood. But I heard his name for the first time. When looking further I saw other movie names directed by him was ‘Memento’, ‘The Prestige’, ‘Insomnia’, ‘Cinema 16’ and to my utter surprise all were IMDB hit list movies. My interest grew and I remember I started looking for the copy of those movies. As a school goer obviously didn’t have much pocket money that I could buy original Blu-rays. So started looking these movies from local cinema parlors and friends aggressively. I remember the day I got the copy of ‘The Prestige’. Overnight I watched the movie and after watching the expression was whoaaaaa!!!! What a movie it is. Amazing!!!

I was mesmerized by the story telling process of this Master filmmaker. By the 2nd movie I became a fan of Mr Christopher Nolan. At the time Christian Bale became one of my all-time favorite actors. I desperately started looking for the other movies of Nolan. After my 12th board exam I saw ‘Memento’ and once again I was flattered. What an outstanding non-linear story telling. How beautifully Mr Nolan maintained the pace of the movie and the story telling process. I had to watch the movie 2 times to understand the complete movie and I did it watching the movie overnight back to back. What I feel is Mr Nolan is not only a good story teller but also an avid thinker. The way he merges the small feelings is truly appreciable. One important thing I like about Nolan’s movies is they make you think twice. You have to think and you have watch his movies very carefully in order to grasp them. Even if you miss one scene or one dialogue you may miss the charm of the whole movie. I was literally in moved by the concept of ‘Memento’. How a person can get tattooed his whole body just in order to find and kill his wife’s murderer. Another aspect of Nolan’s movies are you get to know many unknown things which one might not come across in their daily life. I doubt many people even know the term ‘Anterograde Amnesia’ or ‘Short Team Memory Loss’ and this type of disease exists before watching ‘Memento’.

As time goes I watch ‘Insomnia’ and once again a masterpiece from Christopher Nolan. As usual ‘Al Pacino’ was at his best in this movie and one of the best director and actor combination one could see in this movie. Mr Christopher Nolan and Mr Al Pacino, a dream combination for any movie lovers. The work of camera was also awesome and especially the set. The movie was centered on a tiny Alaskan town named Nightmute. As you see the name, ‘Night’ plus ‘Mute’ means where night does not fall. True to its name during summer the sun never sets here or maybe for an hour or two. The perpetual daylight capture the mind of the Detective Dormer (Al Pacino) and thus Insomnia. What a brilliant thinking.

I started eagerly waiting for Nolan’s movies and till date every time he kept me wondering that how can he make such brilliant movies. Over the years I watched the ‘batman series’, ‘Inception’, ‘Interstellar’ and his latest addition ‘Dunkirk’. Every time he has something new to tell. He comes up with some marvelous concept to amaze his avid viewers.

If you take ‘Inception’ (2010), I doubt other movie makers would ever dare to think such a concept. A movie made upon a mix of the real and the virtual world. The world of dream and levels of dream. It was a wanderlust. Leonardo DiCaprio acting as a dream stealer. His personal loss and then going into the minds of others to steal the dream where he meets his wife. Again as said earlier in each of Nolan’s movies you come to know something new, you come across the concepts of ‘dream within dreams’, ‘Limbo’, ‘Shared Dream’ and many other concepts. I wonder how a person can think of such an idea. Nolan took 8 years to make this movie happen after Insomnia (2002). Meanwhile he worked on other movies. But this immensely talented director has every time come up with a new concept. His excellence in story telling has reached the level of a legend. Again we see this non-linear story telling in ‘Inception’. He set a new bar in story telling after this movie.

True to his excellence, then come interstellar (2014). This time I decided I have watch all new Nolan movies in the theatre. And you know, whoever has watched Interstellar can relate how it would feel to watch a movie like Interstellar in the big screen. Till date the best movie of Christopher Nolan without any doubt. Magnanimous concept, outstanding presentation and thought process of Nolan reflected in each scene of the movie. I mean factually, who has ever thought of going beyond the solar system. Here it is ‘Inter’-‘Stellar’. Again you come to know terms like ‘Wormhole’, ‘Gravitational Propulsion’, ‘Gravitational Singularities’, ‘Morse Code’. Some of which are still like rockets to some of the viewers. I had to watch it 3 times in order to grasp the movie. I mean you get to see a Wave which is like a 100 storied building in front of you. A planet where 1 minute is equivalent to 7 years in the earth. And at the end a father who remains younger than her daughter after the time travel. Brilliant execution. When I think about the movie, I get spellbound literally that I am not even able to imagine and Mr Nolan is making such movies. He is a master of his art.

‘Dunkirk’ was again a completely different king of picture and it relates to the British history and the cold war. Execution and detailing is awesome and even better than others. But till date ‘Interstellar’ remains the best one from Mr Nolan.

The most interesting part of Nolan’s movies are the storytelling, he has mastered that through his movies. I could rarely see such non-linear story telling from any other current Hollywood directors where so many parallel story telling goes on and still the movie doesn’t lose the pace and becomes even more interesting minute by minute. You are a genius Christopher Nolan.