Solaris Reviews

  • Feb 06, 2021

    Often called one of the greatest sci-fi films of all time, Solaris was, much like 2001, a movie I simply couldn't see the appeal in. It's 2 and ¾ hours of slow-paced, uninteresting events, unlikeable characters and uber pretentious dialogue. The script is essentially nihilistic self-pity masquerading as deep and profound philosophies, and the lead performance by Donatas Banionis is so utterly devoid of feeling or emotion that I couldn't care less about what was happening to him. He wears pretty the same expression through the entire story, whether he's talking to his father or witnessing his late wife coming back to life. It take places mostly on a space station in orbit around the titular planet, but it has no real reason to take place there at all. This could have been set in a factory in a rundown city suburb and it would be practically the same. Rather than diving into the human condition, the films mostly concerns our boirng lead lamenting the passing of his late wife, who died 10 years ago. This pops up over and over again and does nothing but drag the film down, like it keeps getting interrupted by a Nicolas Sparks flick. The pacing is insufferably slow, the camera lingers on absolutely nothing for no discernible reason, the characters only look slightly invested in what's going on, and the lead character never seems to get round to doing what he was supposed to do in the first place. I know it has an audience, but since the author of the original book wasn't a fan of it, it's nice to know I'm not alone in thinking its massively overrated.

    Often called one of the greatest sci-fi films of all time, Solaris was, much like 2001, a movie I simply couldn't see the appeal in. It's 2 and ¾ hours of slow-paced, uninteresting events, unlikeable characters and uber pretentious dialogue. The script is essentially nihilistic self-pity masquerading as deep and profound philosophies, and the lead performance by Donatas Banionis is so utterly devoid of feeling or emotion that I couldn't care less about what was happening to him. He wears pretty the same expression through the entire story, whether he's talking to his father or witnessing his late wife coming back to life. It take places mostly on a space station in orbit around the titular planet, but it has no real reason to take place there at all. This could have been set in a factory in a rundown city suburb and it would be practically the same. Rather than diving into the human condition, the films mostly concerns our boirng lead lamenting the passing of his late wife, who died 10 years ago. This pops up over and over again and does nothing but drag the film down, like it keeps getting interrupted by a Nicolas Sparks flick. The pacing is insufferably slow, the camera lingers on absolutely nothing for no discernible reason, the characters only look slightly invested in what's going on, and the lead character never seems to get round to doing what he was supposed to do in the first place. I know it has an audience, but since the author of the original book wasn't a fan of it, it's nice to know I'm not alone in thinking its massively overrated.

  • Feb 02, 2021

    Tarkovsky is phenomenal filmmaker but what he delivers is more than just a film . Solaris is an art that will make you observe and look deeper to reach for it's meaning, which is nothing but a reflection.

    Tarkovsky is phenomenal filmmaker but what he delivers is more than just a film . Solaris is an art that will make you observe and look deeper to reach for it's meaning, which is nothing but a reflection.

  • Jan 27, 2021

    Tarkowsky's 1972 masterpiece Solaris is undoubtedly one of the best sci-fi films ever created, up there in the sci-fi pantheon with 2001: A Space Odyssey, Metropolis or Children of Men. Adapted from Stanisław Lem's novel of the same name, Solaris works upon the premise of a future humanity utterly fascinated with an alien planet of the same name, seemingly intelligent in and by itself. Thus, mankind keeps sending all kinds of scientists on a space station there, meant to study and explore the celestial intelligence residing in the very ocean that makes up the surface of the planet. Among these scientist there's our protagonist, Donatas Banionis' psychologist Kris Kelvin, a man haunted by the death of his wife. There, he discovers that one of the three men present of the station is dead and the other two are thoroughly reserved and apparently disturbed by whatever the sly Solaris offered them. The story is ultimately about the contradictory nature of humanity, with all its facets, from its sheer, inherent self-absorption to its nobility of thought or from its tragic incapacity to truly be fascinated by anything other than itself, even in the face of the unknown to man's unbreakable connection to his own concept of family. The film explores a small cast of complex, layered characters, all of them damaged in a specific way, frenetically and exhaustively analyzing them until the result resembles a portrait of humanity. One of these characters is the planet Solaris itself. Tarkowsky imbues the camera with heavy melancholy, crafting deepy personal cinema by piercing right to the bottom of his character's souls, even when not showing them. No one, to this day, could ever frame a face quite like Tarkowsky, and no one could create his indescribable naturalistic shots (few and far between in this particular film, but all the more memorable). Even though the script certainly takes its time, the story never seems slow, but rather completely immersive and, in the end, leaving you haunted, wanting more from this unique world, yet feeling like the film already told you everything you need to know about it.

    Tarkowsky's 1972 masterpiece Solaris is undoubtedly one of the best sci-fi films ever created, up there in the sci-fi pantheon with 2001: A Space Odyssey, Metropolis or Children of Men. Adapted from Stanisław Lem's novel of the same name, Solaris works upon the premise of a future humanity utterly fascinated with an alien planet of the same name, seemingly intelligent in and by itself. Thus, mankind keeps sending all kinds of scientists on a space station there, meant to study and explore the celestial intelligence residing in the very ocean that makes up the surface of the planet. Among these scientist there's our protagonist, Donatas Banionis' psychologist Kris Kelvin, a man haunted by the death of his wife. There, he discovers that one of the three men present of the station is dead and the other two are thoroughly reserved and apparently disturbed by whatever the sly Solaris offered them. The story is ultimately about the contradictory nature of humanity, with all its facets, from its sheer, inherent self-absorption to its nobility of thought or from its tragic incapacity to truly be fascinated by anything other than itself, even in the face of the unknown to man's unbreakable connection to his own concept of family. The film explores a small cast of complex, layered characters, all of them damaged in a specific way, frenetically and exhaustively analyzing them until the result resembles a portrait of humanity. One of these characters is the planet Solaris itself. Tarkowsky imbues the camera with heavy melancholy, crafting deepy personal cinema by piercing right to the bottom of his character's souls, even when not showing them. No one, to this day, could ever frame a face quite like Tarkowsky, and no one could create his indescribable naturalistic shots (few and far between in this particular film, but all the more memorable). Even though the script certainly takes its time, the story never seems slow, but rather completely immersive and, in the end, leaving you haunted, wanting more from this unique world, yet feeling like the film already told you everything you need to know about it.

  • Dec 26, 2020

    Believe it or not, this original Russian Solaris has been archived as one of the best science fiction films of all time. Its extra long runtime and cultural differences unfortunately make it a very difficult watch. The film's eventless-moment atmosphere can be compared to 2010 A SPACE ODYSSEY; however these surreal visuals mostly entail staring at a wall listening to hisses and beeps, If it weren't for the George Clooney remake, I wouldn't know what the hell was going on.

    Believe it or not, this original Russian Solaris has been archived as one of the best science fiction films of all time. Its extra long runtime and cultural differences unfortunately make it a very difficult watch. The film's eventless-moment atmosphere can be compared to 2010 A SPACE ODYSSEY; however these surreal visuals mostly entail staring at a wall listening to hisses and beeps, If it weren't for the George Clooney remake, I wouldn't know what the hell was going on.

  • Sep 21, 2020

    Evocative, full of symbolism and mystery, it may not be catchy for everyone but it is necessary to say that has a lot to offer.

    Evocative, full of symbolism and mystery, it may not be catchy for everyone but it is necessary to say that has a lot to offer.

  • Aug 21, 2020

    Tarkovsky uses sci-fi to achieve what he usually achieves with dreams and memories (see "the mirror") and in my opinion with sci-fi it works even better, since it makes it more grounded in reality

    Tarkovsky uses sci-fi to achieve what he usually achieves with dreams and memories (see "the mirror") and in my opinion with sci-fi it works even better, since it makes it more grounded in reality

  • May 22, 2020

    This is one of those "the Emperor has no clothes" movies. Acclaimed and gushed over by film and sci-fi fans for decades, this over wrought, low tech, and down right boring film deserves none of this attention. It is 2.5 hours of weird angles and close ups and a genuinely terrible score. The acting is uneven and the script meandering and dense. Don't bother.

    This is one of those "the Emperor has no clothes" movies. Acclaimed and gushed over by film and sci-fi fans for decades, this over wrought, low tech, and down right boring film deserves none of this attention. It is 2.5 hours of weird angles and close ups and a genuinely terrible score. The acting is uneven and the script meandering and dense. Don't bother.

  • Apr 30, 2020

    Perhaps the best intellectual science fiction movie of all time.

    Perhaps the best intellectual science fiction movie of all time.

  • Apr 01, 2020

    A quiet and haunting meditation on the existencial condition of the human race and its need for love backed by Tarkovsky's strikingly eye for beauty and emotions.

    A quiet and haunting meditation on the existencial condition of the human race and its need for love backed by Tarkovsky's strikingly eye for beauty and emotions.

  • Jan 21, 2020

    A meandering piece of sci-fi with some interesting themes scattered throughout. Requires great patience.

    A meandering piece of sci-fi with some interesting themes scattered throughout. Requires great patience.