Psychologist Kris Kelvin travels to the Solaris space station to investigate the strange phenomena that afflicted its crew. When he begins experiencing the same symptoms, he descends into the dark abyss of his consciousness.
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Tarkovsky's most well-known film. I can picture the Soviets saying "The great Tarkovsky will make a better spaceship movie than the Americans!" If they edited out all the spaceship parts and just had the water-as-subconscious element, it would have been way better. But I think he was commissioned to make a spaceship movie. Admittedly, I'm biased; I don't enjoy spaceship movies. I love Andrei Tarkovsky, tho
What does it mean to be human? To be alive? To know another person? To know yourself? What is the purpose of knowledge? What is human progression if we are so technologically advanced but we do not know what is within? How can we reach for the stars & understand what is alien to us if we do not even know & respect each other? If we don't even know or respect ourselves? Solaris is a grand masterpiece of world cinema.
I prefer the Soderbergh version, which connects the thematic dots more concisely & carries a much greater emotional weight. Tarkovsky's film is certainly of interest, specifically in how it evolves his key theme, memory. The absent wife, the childhood home, the dog, the mother, all find their way into later masterworks, Mirror & Nostalgia. A film full of profoundly beautiful moments amid scenes of arduous exposition.
Don't be confused by the sci-fi label. It's just a means towards a very fascinating end. It's about love. No one can duplicate the amazing talent of Tarkovsky, because he thinks like a poet. He truly is in a class by himself.
I find this film to be far superior to Kubrick's 2001. The visuals are absolutely stunning and the colors are so vibrant they practically jump off the screen. The hero is so tired looking that you really feel his exhaustion and the futuristic highway sequence is one of marvels of the cinema.
"Solyaris" is an original approach to first contact and alien life-form in the cinema history. The story is disclosed in an extremely low-pace through a flawed screenplay that uses many ellipsis and poor art decoration, but beautifully raises philosophical questions about love, death, understanding, communication, fear for the unknown, origin of life, and might be the Paradise or even God. 9.5/10
Nonsensical trite. First, why are the home movies and the interview shot like the rest of the film? It breaks the immersion. Second, why would they allow these researchers to bring a fire arm on board? Third, it has no rhythm as it spouts 30 minutes of exposition and follows it with an instantaneous jump on the ship. Last, just because you threw in high brow references in your monster film does not make it deep.
I liked this a HELL of a lot more than Ivan's Childhood and Stalker, and while it isn't the crowning masterpiece from Tarkovsky I have been searching for, it comes pretty close. It has some beautiful sequences and the ending was really fantastic. 4/5