M S Krishna Prateek’s review published on Letterboxd:
Reviewing or dissecting a Tarkovsky film, in general, takes away something from it because his works are highly personal and Stalker will be different for different persons, staying true to Tarkovsky's quote, i.e., "A book read by a thousand different people is a thousand different books".
It's been a long time since I watched Stalker that was also my introduction to Andrei Tarkovsky and despite the aforementioned thought of not to review it as such, I thought it would be good to have something here about one of my all-time favourites and what better occasion than today in remembering Andrei Tarkovsky on his birth anniversary, whose oeuvre is the epitome of this dialogue in Stalker: "And mankind exists in order to create to works of art. Unlike all other human activities, this one is unselfish. Great illusions! Images of the absolute truth!"
There are some films whose consumption depends upon the personal state we're in while watching them and Stalker is one such film that breathed life (insert Stalker's prayer monologue) into me through its profound musings when I chanced upon it during a tough phase of my life! Stalker is a timeless piece of art that is bound to unearth different perspectives while watching it at different stages of life and one should really dig deep into the zone in order to find answers for many questions about both the film as well as oneself.
"They don't believe in anything!" "They've got the organ with which one believes atrophied for lack of use."
Brimming with untamed grass, plants, mud, wood and so on...The Zone is both visually as well as spiritually otherworldly and contains The Room that sheds light on one's true self in granting innermost desires. Tarkovsky slowly pulled me into a reverie by his signature way of characters contemplating with nature through metaphysical silences and conversations, especially during the later part of the film set amid those iconic sand dunes. Clever usage of colour (sepia, colour, B/W) to signify the story transition from one world to another and the music orchestrates the sounds of nature indeed! Every soliloquy or parable in the film transfixed me in its thoughts on faith, existence, a person's deepest desires etc. Nothing much seems to happen for almost 160 minutes but I wasn't even bored for a minute and that ending knocked my socks off with one of the most haunting (I'm yet to come out of Ivan's Childhood ending) closing sequences ever put to film!
: "My goodness, now...you're going to live a hundred years!"
: "Yes. But why not forever?"
I wish Andrei Tarkovsky lived for a hundred years, but the film responsible for taking him away from us so soon will live forever "like The Eternal Jew"!