Stalker ★★★★

About a year ago I watched Stalker and just didn't get it. I was relatively new to foreign film and was really caught off guard by the massive difference between the expections I had built up based on the synopsis and what I actually got. It genuinely made me mad as I was so confused as to what everyone else was seeing that I wasn't.

Since watching it a year ago I haven't stopped thinking about it. That in itself should be an indication to the power that the film has.

Anyways I knew I was going to have to return to it eventually. I was really excited to because the more I thought about it the more I liked it. I finally found the time to give it a re-watch today and while I certainly appreciated it for what it was a lot more this time around, I can't say I loved it as much as I hoped I would on return.

It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen. The atmosphere that Tarkovsky is able to create in blending the visuals and the score is nothing short of a masterwork. The religious connections were way more apperent this time around and it was nice to watch it again with those in mind. It made the experience much more pensive rather than just empty.

For me though it still doesn't have enough fuel to keep me engaged for the whole runtime. While the pace, and the general quietness help the film in many ways, I think it's pairing with the almost 3 hour runtime is just too much. My developed appreciation for it helped me get further this time around before starting to check out. But it still reached a point where I kinda just started wanting it to change or wrap up.

If even a bit more dialogue or discussion was added through it, or if maybe 30 minutes were shaved off, I would consider it perfect. But that's not what the film is trying to do and I wouldn't want it to either since so many people seem to love it for that very reason.

I don't want this review to be all gloomy though because my experience with it did improve. I'll end optimistically saying that maybe in another year or so I'll return again and love it even more. Or I'll just accept that I can love this movie if I just watch it in individual segments.

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