Sorry, this movie sucks
As Good As It Gets
The film never slows down or bores, plunging from one harrowing sequence to the next.
This political satyre disguises itself as a science fiction drama, where the main character . From the start of the film, intrigue and suspense are palpable as smoke, and guide the viewer through strange warnings and questionable actions.
Solaris has a dream-like quality to it, which Tarkovsky relishes in. The legends surrounding the director should be impetus enough to watch this movie, but much merit can be given to the film's direction, which has been mimicked many times since.
I can see why many people compare between Tarkovsky's Solaris and Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. Despite both films have completely different themes, It's so clear that Tarkovsky was inspired by 2001 while making Solaris. But the influences have nothing with neither the themes nor the messages and the philosophy of the movie. Tarkovsky influenced by the style and the technical aspect of 2001: A Space Odyssey; the tone. some of the camera shots, the way of using the imagery (in some cases), and even the production design. With that said, I don't think there should be any comparison between the two films.To be honest, I hate 2001, because I think it tells its relies so heavily on its message that there's almost no story to tell. It keeps repeating its messages, that we have already recognized from the get-go, throughout its running time. Adding insult to injury, it tries to be riveting by showing how wonderful the camera work is,how mesmerizing the cinematography is, how fascinating the production design is, how masterful the editing is, etc. While all these technical points made this movie the most beautiful movie I've ever seen, instead of relying on the technical aspect, I think it should have engaged us with the use of narrative elements, such as a dramatic plot, well-wrought and fleshed-out characters, or in a worst-case scenario, a mysterious event or even character. Fortunately, I think Solaris is way better than 2001. It has a fair share of metaphors, and also has fully-developed characters, a coherent plot, and powerful messages. The result is a movie that has a very comprehensive and engaging story that tugs at your heartstrings. Needless to say, the acting is great, the direction is masterful, and the cinematography and the production design are nothing but art! It's just the slow-pacing that sometimes I felt it wasn't necessary. Specially, before the climax as this should exactly be the time when I should be entirely focused, but I found that I get a little bored.Some may find the messages are presented in a direct way and somehow in your face, but that was completely intended. It's the first Tarkovsky film I watch, but it's obvious that presenting the message in the dialogue is kinda his trademark. The characters don't reveal the message to put an end to the story. instead, they keep involving the viewers with the messages they discover along the movie. Can't wait to watch The Mirror and Stalker!(9/10)
My first written review of Tarkovsky, and my third film of his I have seen (behind Stalker and Andrei Rublev). So far this is Tarkovsky's most accessible film. Obviously 'more accessible' does not mean worse, because as my movie-watching experience goes it has affected me profoundly--more than Andrei Rublev, and possibly more than Stalker. Solaris is one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen. Like all of Tarkovsky's visual poems, there are stunning moments of nature; a gurgling stream, rustling leaves upon a branch or marsh weeds falling victim to the eloquent movement of water, and while what we are seeing is simple, Tarkovsky captures it like no other. Solaris' opening shots present these marsh weeds moving; flowing, and I can do nothing but watch. Tarkovsky certainly had a talent, and he may very well be at the top of the list for making film pure poetry.The actual plot of Solaris is intriguing and fresh. We are introduced to the crew of a space mission to the planet Solaris by video--our main character Kris Kelvin, a psychologist, is eventually enlisted to investigate why the crew has gone insane. We learn that the atmosphere of the planet has an ability to reach into our memories and provide us with a manifestation of someone who represents that past the most, and Kelvin is caught up in Solaris' powers when he discovers his dead wife on the space station--alive and well. She is not her real self of course, but the amalgamation of particles the planet's atmosphere can manifest into when it reaches into our memories. Slowly, does Kelvin get dragged into the past as he falls in love again, tragically--knowing very well she is not his real wife. What the film gives us is a masterful introspection of love and life and what it means to be human, at a time when the characters are no where near Earth. Solaris is certainly unique because most sci-fi films give you the feeling you're in space and in ways also feel claustrophobic, but this does the opposite. We know we are in space and near a planet that is incredibly far from Earth, but it doesn't ever feel sterile or cold like space should be (2001: A Space Odyssey). The conversations between Kris and his surrogate-wife are heart-wrenching, and pushes further the question, 'what does it mean to be human?'I may be at loss for some of the thematics in this film, but I took away what made sense to me, and it is beautiful.
The Movie Diorama
Apparently it's about a cosmonaut visiting the Solaris Space Station where the remaining crew are psychologically disturbed by "visitors". An alien presence that materialise from illusory dreams, the cosmonaut dreams of his late wife. He must then decide to submit to Solaris' hallucinogenic gift or stay in reality. Now, before I anger you film elitists and enthusiasts, I understood the film. I acknowledged what it set out to do. Questioning humanity and its existence, throwing in the concept of clinging onto love. I accept that Solaris paved the way for future science fiction cinematic pieces, much like 2001 did. There's no doubt in my mind that Tarkovsky's artistic sensitivity aids in the haunting visceral tone beneath the narrative. Jarring scene transitions of wild foliage, extensive long takes and the dream inspired visuals of Solaris. Natalia Bondarchuk is a revelation and is easily the best performer against a tediously monotonous cast. Artemiev's score was beautifully resonating and suited the atmosphere (or lack of...). With all that said, I struggled. My mind consistently kept switching off as I tried my absolute hardest to stay focussed. It's just too slow for its own good. Possibly one of the slowest films I've ever seen. I'm all for a slow pace in order to evoke a meditative aura within the narrative. But when the script is far too meticulous and constantly preaches about love, 166 minutes feels like an eternity. Needless to say Part Two was slightly more involving that Part One, but I still felt distant from the story. It's far too cold. Ironic considering Tarkovsky claimed Kubrick's '2001' was too sterile. Perhaps I need to adapt to Tarkovsky's signature storytelling methods, I felt the exact same with 'Stalker' being too slow. Critically this film is near faultless with what it sets out to do, but I have to consider my own personal enjoyment which is why I must substantially mark this down. Perhaps on a future viewing I'll become more invested now that I know what I'm getting myself into.