Stalker ★★★★

I feel guilty for not rating this as highly as everyone else on Letterboxd seems to. But I can’t deny my feelings.

Stalker is undeniably one of the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen. The cinematography is as close to perfect as you’ll ever get, an absolute feast for the eyes.

Nonetheless, I found myself repeatedly feeling juxtaposed within myself. I loved watching Stalker, but I hated it too.

I loved the painstakingly crafted atmosphere, the concept of The Zone, the imagery, the ideological discussions. The characters too were intriguing, earnest and likeable, with an undeniable chemistry that consistently stood its ground. This film is a sheer delight in filmmaking from beginning to end, with only a woman writhing around on the floor making me question that.

I hated how long it took to do it all though. You feel this movie’s length more than most I think. But it’s not just that. Every moment is drawn out, demanding you to think on your sins. Every frame is a painting that demands every ounce of you. That in itself is a glorious positive, but also a drawback to a film as long, time consuming and contemplative as this one.

I loved Stalker, but I simultaneously found it too demanding: not difficult to understand per say, but in grappling with ideological debate or conceptualising imagery. It saps all the energy from you.

You can look away for five minutes and know you’ve probably missed nothing narratively but possibly missed one of the most beautiful shots you’ll ever see.

These are just my initial scribbly thoughts on Stalker, a film that I will undoubtedly return to at some point in my lifetime and likely reconsider forever.

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