In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.
The Solaris mission has established a base on a planet that appears to host some kind of intelligence, but the details are hazy and very secret. After the mysterious demise of one of the three scientists on the base, the main character is sent out to replace him. He finds the station run-down and the two remaining scientists cold and secretive. When he also encounters his wife who has been dead for ten years, he begins to appreciate the baffling nature of the alien intelligence. Written by
It is quite common to hear this film compared to 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), however, Tarkovsky had not seen that film before shooting Solaris. When he did get round to seeing 2001, he criticised it for being "sterile". See more »
The camera crew is reflected in the video screen as Chris watches Dr. Gibarian's message. See more »
A dream-like examination of love and first contact
Two truths drive this film: the inadequacy of human-kind to understand the Universe, and the inadequacy of human-kind to understand the human heart.
As such, using Lem's original idea, Tarkovsky successfully, explores these themes.
We are drawn in, through hauntingly beautiful imagery, to the internal struggles of Kris Kelvin as he attempts to understand feelings of love for his suicided wife, who has been mysteriously resurrected, presumably as an attempt by Solaris to communicate, or torture.
Of course Solaris is probably the most original alien ever concocted, (no phone-homes here) and as must be, utterly enigmatic and beyond communication.
Be warned, this film is very long, and sometimes slow, but for those who consider themselves science fiction addicts, it is a must view.
One of the top 5 sci-fi films of all time.
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