My first Blindspot entry for 2019 is Solaris and I couldn’t be more proud. Not only did I watch an almost 3 hour movie, it was also in Russian, making me read subtitles throughout. Those who know me, know, that subtitles so not appeal to me. Neither do really long movies. But sci-fi is one of my favourite genres, so I’m excited to have knocked off Solaris from my Blindspot list.
First of all, there are two different release dates for Solaris. The feature image says Solaris was released in 1971, but Wikipedia states it’s 1972 due to the studio asking changes to be made to the original version. But what ever the actual real release date is, Solaris is a film that asks questions the science-fiction genre is still stipulating over. Are we alone, and if not, can we coexist?
I’m pretty sure I missed a lot of the plot for Solaris. It was a pretty heavy watch in terms of keeping myself focused for that long. Plus, the movie dragged, which is what I seem to say almost about every Blindspot movie. It’s just how I feel about the style of movie making where visuals carry the film rather than dialog. It’s also the reason I don’t really watch Estonian movies.
Solaris didn’t really click with me in terms of the character building either. I liked the story, I liked the element of mystery that followed the film from start to end. What I wished for, was more emotional impact from the characters. The main character Kris Kelvin felt very distant throughout. Khari was more intriguing but a lot of her mysteriousness helped her to stand out.
Another thing I have to admit is that the ending was almost predictable. Probably because I’ve seen so many films, read so many books, I expect things to end as such. But the way the visuals were done, considering the time, was pretty cool. Though, that highway scene with those old cars? A little funny, because I remember my grandfather having a Russian made car when I was growing up. Nothing felt futuristic about that.
Then again, a movie in the past, about the future? Maybe not exactly. Solaris had a very old feel to it, but I simply imagined the science aspect of it in a steampunk type way. I do wish the space ship had more… flare to it. I kept comparing it to 2001: A Space Odyssey, and expecting more colour. Guess it was a choice to make everything a bit simpler, so the Ocean would stand out more. But I still felt the need for more.
All in all, I’m of course glad I watched Solaris. I didn’t like it that much but it’s always good to base your opinion on something you’ve experienced. Now I only need to watch the 2002 remake of the same name and read the book. Because while the execution for me maybe felt a little distant (probably because of the style more than about the plot), the story is definitely fascinating.