Monday, 20 March 2017
Full review on Starburst.
Cosmonaut and psychologist Kris Kelvin is sent to a space station orbiting the planet Solaris to investigate strange transmissions coming from its three remaining crew. When he gets there, he finds that an alien intelligence has been manifesting itself as simulacra of the crew’s memories. This strange phenomenon soon hits Kelvin hard, as he’s visited by a being who appears to be his wife Hari – who died ten years ago.
At once an epic and a very insular movie, a combination that much sci-fi aspires to but falls short of, Solaris cuts between sweeping shots of the mysterious planet and deep psychological exploration of how these ‘guests’ affect the crew. It’s a film that’s been discussed at length with regards to what it has to say about faith and memory, but which at heart seems to be about the need for human connection.
At times, it’s a captivatingly beautiful film, with this thought-provoking drama taking place against the backdrop of an impressive but worn-down space station, which seems to fall apart alongside the protagonist’s mind. At other times, the movie’s lingering nature can irritate; one particular shot of a car travelling down a road before we’ve even gone to space lasts uncomfortably long.
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