Friday, August 06, 2010

Moofies - Solaris (2002)

EXPECTATIONS: I saw this back in 2002 and I remember I liked it, but I barely remember what it is about, so I think it's time for another viewing.

REALITY: This is fantastic. The visuals, slow pace, and soundtrack to Solaris are like nothing else (possibly they are like the original version, but I haven't seen it yet).

Chris Kelvin (Clooney) is a psychologist who is sent to an isolated space station after some disturbing transmissions. When he shows up the unusual vibe of the place is palpable, without using shock value. The performances are very occasionally a little too over the top (I think Viola Davis over did it a bit), but for the most part they are very subdued.

We see Kelvin's difficult relationship with his wife in flashbacks, which reflects the difficult relationship between the human beings and the entity/planet they are studying, or between the entity/planet and the human beings that it is studying. There are excellent portrayals of grief and guilt, and we can see that despite being in the past these feelings are very much alive and present.

The storyline is quite simple, but the vibe this film creates is like nothing else, and the simple storyline enables various themes to be explored without excessive plot getting in the way. I don't always enjoy Soderbergh films this much, but he's always interesting and trying different things. I'd love to see him make another science fiction film though because Solaris is fantastic.


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