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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
This line from Dr Zhivago says all you have to know about Tarkovsky. He was a thinker and a poet. An artist who's work was at once smart, engaging and aesthetically beautiful! Solaris is a world that materialized thoughts and absorbs creatures into its own consciousness. "Solaris" is an allegory on man's place in the universe, the twisted concept of reality, the meaning of love, grief and - ultimately - life. Psychiatrist Kris Kelvin goes to the station orbiting the planet-entity to assess whether the madness of it's occupants means all exploration should be discontinued. What he finds there are all the demons he has brought with him. You the viewer shall experience the same thing, for Solaris is an inviting and questioning but never manipulative film. What you'll get out of it depends on what you bring with you.
Solaris is often accused of being slow. This is a common misinterpretation: Solaris makes you anxious, and willingly so. Too many segments are like mirrors that invite your mind to venture off into many uncomfortable a place (the traffic scene comes to mind: an allegory for the space voyage but also for fading life and powerlessness). Solaris also makes you fear, with a sense that something isn't quite right and as with the best horror films, what you dread often isn't even on screen. Solaris makes you heart ache on several occasions as well. It makes you miss loved ones and it makes you feel homesick. every additional minute that separates you from the gorgeous opening shots of nature makes you long for Earth.
Solaris is many things but above all it is simply more than entertainment: it is a voyage for the senses, like a favorite song that binds countless disconnected feelings and thoughts. It is a poem.
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