Emil Woerner’s review published on Letterboxd:
Wow, there it is. A timely film that hopefully will never be more relatable than right now in my life. You know, these late stage Tarkovsky films are confusing for me. I don’t know if in time I’ll appreciate them as postmodern masterpieces where Tarkovsky clearly tries to blend realism and current events with his mystical, dreamlike brand of surrealism, or if I’ll think they were experiments for forthcoming work that were obviously a method of channeling possibly the most challenging decade of his life. I will say that these films are extremely impressive, and this film might have the most impressive shot I have ever seen (that final ten minute shot). I mean, this guy is the GOAT at staging shots and directing action and dialogue, direct your attention to the long oner here if you don’t believe me. I see a lot of Bergman and Buñuel in him here, and I think it’s notable that Tarkovsky seems to have taken the Kiarostami approach to exile by going to new countries and letting their culture and environment influence his work. I would have given anything to see a Japanese Tarkovsky film. But everything else checks out here. I love the long takes, I think the last thirty minutes are some of the best in he has to offer, I think it moves too slow sometimes, and it’s not even close to his most powerful film, even if it’s relatable. I really liked it, he never made a bad film. Now I’m sad it’s over.