Andrei Tarkovsky's Russian answer to Kubrick's 2001. Stunning, blinding if not anything more.
Not often do Sci-fi movies have sentimentalities, and not often is it hard to delineate a sci-fi flick from the chaff. Yes, Solaris (or Solyaris) is definitely sci-fi being essentially based upon Stanisław Lem's novel of the same name. However, forget the light-sabres and the detonating explosions - if you ever needed a cult-sci-fi movie, this was it.
The initial part winds on and on, being extremely delectable and despicable at the same time. Amazing shots (esp. for the time) of the traffic winding on, the house, the narration bearing little-to-no significance to real story that is to unfold gazillions of miles away. Anger at overwhelming liberties taken and amazement at shear shot-angles and characterizations. Then the idiots walked out.
Cut-to yellow, single-big-bulb-sticking-out space station, near the astounding living-organismic planet of Solaris. Intense, passionate exchanges amongst crew. Our hero Kevin, loves the image-unreal 'wife' Hari who has materialised onboard, gets emotionally attached, fights moral battles of epic proportions, with himself, crew members and Hari. Some scenes of extreme, elucidatory philosophical and philological battles, brilliant birthday party scene and Hari-comes-back-to-life scene. Annihilation, grief, despair. Cut-to back to earth, self-introspectory hero and retrospective end, with a twist.
All in all,
Fantasy? yes. Science fiction? mostly. Entertaining? maybe. Excruciating? - definitely. Worth-it? Hell, yes.
(awating comments on the GC attempt)
Tuesday, February 28, 2006