2001: A Space Odyssey Reviews
2001: A Space Odyssey is not a film I can say I totally comprehend. I have an understanding of what's happening on screen, and an idea as to what it all means, but that's all. I watched another film recently which left me with the same feeling, and that was Mulholland Drive. However, the difference between 2001 and Mulholland Drive is that in this I was actually engaged in the proceedings, rather than uninterested. I believe the film has flaws, although some may consider these to be strengths. For example: the movie is a masterclass of slow, and whilst this sometimes works in its favour, more often than not it just makes the film drag. As well as this, the film is a puzzle that you have to piece together yourself without hardly any indication as to whether you're putting the pieces in the right order and actually creating the picture that Kubrick had when making the movie. For me, I can never tell whether it's genius, or just lazy screenwriting. Another problem is that the movie hasn't got any characters, which means it hard to feel invested in what's happening on screen. And as I said, at least 45 minutes could be cut from this thing and nothing would be lost. One thing that is certain however is that the movie's a visual masterpiece. The effects aren't miles away from the ones seen in Star Wars, and that movie was made a whole 10 years later. In my opinion, the movie works best when there's actual dialogue, as this is well written and fairly engaging. The movie could be greatly improved if space scenes were cut down so they didn't drag, and the ending, and movie in general, were explained a little better, to give us a bit more to go on, and some actual characters added. That aside though, I feel that 2001 is a flawed, yet ultimately rewarding cinematic experience that should be seen, even if not approved of, by everyone.
The notorious monolith, for instance, is like God. Even in the midst of technology advancing beyond anything before, it is a constant; it never changes. It always challenges, and every time that simple creatures seek to understand or conquer it, they're met with confusion and failure.
On a cinematic level, this is a film with more vision than anything before or after. Stanley Kubrick's finest work of his career, and a landmark that has bred generations of dreamers and filmmakers.