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  • Writer's pictureRawan

Solaris (1972) Andrei Tarkovsky

Updated: 22 hours ago

From the very beginning of the film we see Kelvin walks around and experiencing his surroundings contemplating his garden, he let us walk around, it starts to rain we experience everything at the country home of Kelvin's father. A strange sense of nostalgia as we look as this home, and how it stands alone in midst of such beautiful earthbound images that was ever filmed.

We follow Kelvin as he embarks on a voyage to the space station circling Solaris, and finds one crew member died by suicide and two more unstable by the ambiguous events on the station. The planet, as we learn, is entirely covered by a sea, and when X-ray probes were used to investigate it, the planet apparently replied with probes of its own, entering the consciousness of the cosmonauts and making some of their memories real.

Within a day, we see Kelvin is presented with one of the Guests that the planet can create: a doppelgänger of his late wife Khari who committed suicide 10 years earlier, exact in every detail, but lacking her memories. It doesn’t matter to Kelvin, if she can’t remember or if she can't sense pain as he can see to him she real. And we are faced with a fundamental question; who do we love when we love? is it the idea or perception that we build when we experience how others impact our own existence is this what defines how we feel about others? in way we love our own self-formulated perception of others and might never be who they are, only our own sensation when we are around them.

We see her as she questions Kelvin, wants to know more about herself, eventually grows despondent when she realizes she cannot be who she appears to be. To some extent her whole experience of being is limited by how much Kelvin knows about her, since Solaris cannot know more than Kelvin does.

Dr. Snaut: Science? Nonsense! In this situation mediocrity and genius are equally useless! I must tell you that we really have no desire to conquer any cosmos. We want to extend the Earth up to its borders. We don't know what to do with other worlds. We don't need other worlds. We need a mirror. We struggle to make contact, but we'll never achieve it. We are in a ridiculous predicament of man pursuing a goal that he fears and that he really does not need. Man needs man!

The last sequence of the film; Kelvin seemingly returns home and finds his father after a long cosmic trip.

Is all life one fever dream?

As long as we believe something exists, everything else is lost in the ether.


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