Mirror ★★★★½

Seeking the distant feeling of happiness a man journeys through memories of long-lost youth and vivid dreams of people left behind, raising up feelings of guilt from deep within. Mirror acts as a contemplative meditation for Tarkovsky as he recounts the many formative memories of war, a damaged upbringing, and the isolated childhood home that made him who he was. He seeks peace and fleeting moments of temporary bliss in these memories and dreams, dearly holding onto them while reflecting on his own divorce and the ever uncertain future of his child.

Straying away from a traditional linear-narrative structure, the film is told through layers of interlinked memories and dreams expressed through stunning poetic imagery and recurring motifs. Breathtaking cinematography cleverly utilises a gorgeous soft colour palette contrasted against symbolic black and white scenes. The camera moves with elegant grace, framing faces with a sense of empathy while utilising clever blocking and production design to draw further meaning from each thoughtfully considered setting. Tarkovsky uses these tools to guide us through an array of challenging metaphysical themes and ideas, making excellent use of long-takes to make the experience more seamless and immersive.

With all these components manipulated to work gracefully with one another, Mirror could only be described as pure visual poetry, offering an endless number of ways to interpret its contents. The more I think about it, the more fascinating it becomes and I can only imagine getting more out of it with every future watch.

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