BK21567’s review published on Letterboxd:
Before I begin this review, it has to be established that Stalker is not like any film I have seen so far in my film journey. Its originality alone deserves praise regardless of it being adapted from a novel. Each character is only known for their occupation, their past lives aren't truly known until the final hour of the film. Despite it being such a minor idea, it gives so much meaning to the film as Stalker later ventures into philosophical ideas I won't disclose for the sake of spoilers. The simplistic blossoming of the story as Stalker, Writer and Professor descend into a world of the unknown. The cinematographical idea of making the film change into its natural colours from a dark, grim yellow world works so well with the film's atmosphere. Speaking of atmosphere, this picture's atmosphere is so eerie, uncomfortable and ominous. Every scene I was waiting for something bad to go horribly wrong for these characters. I wasn't familiar with Tarkovsky's directing styles so I really did not know what to expect. I was as blind going into this film as the Writer and the Professor were.
Sadly, for a 162-minute film, it obviously has moments where it drags pretty hard and it made watching this pretty hard. The first 50 minutes were a rough watch and sure, when the second part begins it becomes an easier watch but nonetheless, I was tired and bored at times. Also, I couldn't have been the only person who watched this expecting more. You hear of a sci-fi film with a place called "the zone", I was full-on expecting dank visuals which would make a man ａｓｃｅｎｄ but all I got where minimalistic scenes which aren't necessarily bad, but instead anti-climactic. Maybe I'm missing some really deep idea and this film is secretly the best picture ever to exist. I'm not sure.
But it cannot be denied that this film has massive pros, so overall a nice watch but for a film with a 4.4 on this site and critical praise from all, I wanted more.
Ok, I wrote that review yesterday and who am I kidding, this film is overrated. None of the scenes stuck with me, the ending is so anti-climactic, the sci-fi element is barely elaborated upon, 3 Russian dudes walking around talking isn't interesting at all. My opinion from yesterday is a product of what others thought of this film. I really need to start establishing my own opinion more often instead of being influenced by others. No, this film isn't bad, but I expected and wanted so much more. I do not understand how this film is objectively considered one of the best films ever to exist. The film is subjective, there is no objective truth to film. This film is considered objectively good just because we all think in the same paradigm and share the same understanding of what makes a film good. How do we know what we consider trash is secretly objective masterpieces? We don't. I don't know just a thought. This film is not a 4.4, I would never willingly rewatch this again, the only thing I admire from it is that clever use of colour. 🤷♂️