Christopher Nolan is a Genius. Here Are the 5 Reasons Why I Think So.

By this point of time, I believe that every person would love to have at least one Christopher Nolan movie in their DVD shelves that completely swept them off their feet. Today, I will enlist the reasons why I think Christopher Nolan, arguably the most popular director working today, is a genius.

1. Distinct Cinematic Language

For a director who’s under 50 and been working for less than two decades, it blows your mind apart to think of the kind of impact he has managed to create in the world of films with his own distinctive cinematic language that has made him so popular among the general masses and a critics’ sweetheart. His films, while deeply rooted in philosophical themes with unconventional narrative structures, have astonishingly succeeded in breaking the barricades to human sensibilities across the world. Nolan’s mastery of the human psychology along with his incessant love for cinema has made him one of the most exciting modern directors working in Hollywood today.

2. Mixes Commerce and Art

There is a common perception that commercial cinema is churned out purely for the entertainment purposes of the general audiences which, unfortunately, is true to a large extent. Christopher Nolan’s films, however, have managed to effectively reach out to the audience’s intellectual capability without having to compromise on the commercial aspects of filmmaking.

3. Consistent

So what exactly has been Nolan’s modus operandi in making films that have turned out to be remarkably successful on a consistent basis over the years? Well first of all, let me be straight up honest about this. I am an ardent admirer of Chris Nolan’s world of cinema. The man has simply not made a film that can be labelled as downright bad in any department. However, there are certain aspects of his work which are quite often overlooked by his fans that deserve to be critiqued. His films lack the artistic finesse or the emotional depth that can be felt in the films of, say, a Paul Thomas Anderson or a Richard Linklater. Yet it’s his incredible ability to expand his strengths well beyond his camouflaged weaknesses that makes him one of the truly great filmmakers of our times.

4. Delves in Complex Themes

Nolan has a fascination for visuals and themes that are otherworldly. His command over the audiences’ thought process coupled with the power to enthrall his viewers while telling stories that are compelling, original and at times even freakish or bizarre, is sensational. He has the utmost respect for his audiences’ intelligence and doesn’t once tend to manipulate or dumb them down. Nolan regards the viewers’ role in cinema as one with indispensable power. His stories, that often seem like complex mysteries or puzzles of the human condition, demand immense participation from the audience. For instance, think of the famous hospital scene in ‘Memento’ when Leonard speaks about Sammy Jankis’ mental condition. We see Sammy sitting in his chair in the hospital. With the camera trying to zoom in, our image of Sammy is blocked in a flash with a man passing by him. The scene is then almost immediately cut to Leonard’s phone conversation but before the cut, in a split second, we see Leonard sitting in place of Sammy. Nolan brilliantly exploits that very tiny moment of weakness in the viewers’ observation power. There is an invitation to look closer into the frame as a whole.

5. Makes Original Movies

The perceptible flamboyance in his films with concepts that are thoroughly unique and original might appear to be ostentatious or gimmicky to some. But as a matter of fact, while the main concept of his films serve the purpose of being the talk of the town even well before the release, he uses them only to tell beautiful stories that sometimes get eclipsed by the blockbuster-ish look and feel of his films. But somehow over the years, Nolan has achieved great success in fusing challenging concepts with amazing stories that are relatively simple and human at its core. ‘The Prestige’, which I believe is one of his most underrated works, is a film that talks about human sacrifice for the sake of accomplishing a true form of art. I would also venture to say that ‘Interstellar’, Nolan’s most ambitious and personal film, might just be his “easiest” film to date in retrospect. Amidst all the complex theories of Black holes and time travel, the film is an absolutely moving tale of fatherly love and humanity.

Is He Versatile?

What remains to be seen, however, is Nolan’s versatility. As a director who is yet to taste failure, his work will constantly be put under scrutiny. While there has been a tonal shift in his films from the early indie days of ‘Following’ and ‘Memento’ to the monstrous blockbusters of ‘The Dark Knight Trilogy’ and ‘Inception’, Christopher Nolan is still somewhere playing his game within the confines of his comfort. With ‘Dunkirk’ on its way, we can only hope that his venture into this whole other genre will be as exciting and breathtaking as his earlier ones have been. The challenge is an arduous one as the expectations are sky-high because this is a man who has consistently failed to disappoint us.

Read More: Every Movie of Christopher Nolan, Ranked From 10 to 1

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