Austin Lord’s review published on Letterboxd:
This is my first ever Tarkovsky film and I was super nervous about his deep, layered filmography. I’d heard Stalker was a good starting point, and I can’t deny that this was incredible. It affected me on a very spiritual and emotional level that has never came on me in any film. This is seriously going to make me rethink everything I’ve ever seen before.
This was the most unique experience I’ve had watching a movie. I was transfixed on this film and drawn into this world that I couldn’t take my eyes off. I know I’m in the minority for this, but this flew by for me, it did not feel like almost 3 hours despite its long takes. The length and pacing was my biggest fear before watching this and that wasn’t even an issue in the slightest.
As for interpretations, there are a million was to interpret this and I’m sure they’re all right. I’ll keep my interpretations to myself, but there is something in this for everyone. Anyone can realistically understand this movie since I think it’s intentional that there’s no real answer. That’s the beauty of this film.
Stalker is a poetic and hypnotic journey that is truly like no other. It has singlehandedly deconstructed everything that I know about movies. I’ve seen lots of art house films, but I’ve never been affected in this way by one. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it. I’ll be visiting Tarkovsky more in the future.