angelina’s review published on Letterboxd :
a little story before my thoughts on the film: when i was around 11-12 years old, there was a very popular game in russia which was called s.t.a.l.k.e.r. i was obsessed with it, even read some books based on the game. i remember mentioning the name of the game to my mom, and she asked if it was based on this movie. to my surprise yes, it was, as well as on the book that this movie is based on. so she decided to show me it, and of course, being a 12 years old, i fell asleep like half way through this and later told my mom this movie was trash. she didn't talk to me for like 3 days after.
anyways, going back to the movie. i think because of my mom's love for soviet cinema, and andrei tarkovsky in particular, i watched a lot of movies i was too young to watch at that age, so now, every time i revisit tarkovsky's work, it's truly an experience for me. this is my third viewing of this movie (i watched it the second time in high school when i finally had the capacity to at least give my own comprehension of the film), and i am still amazed at how beautifully existential and broad this film is. i don't think there is a single explanation as to what "stalker" is about, what it is trying to say us through its characters. is this about our own mortality? fate? life and death?
tarkovsky's masterfully written characters are always mesmerizing. but i especially love "stalker" because the zone, a place that is a physical location, is the character in its own right. it feels, it lingers in the back as a ghost, it knows what people, who enter it, think. there are a lot of things to unpack in this film, and i don't think i understand everything the director wanted to say, but philosophical questions that the main characters are trying to raise are the questions that, possibly, every person has asked themselves at least once in their life. i think it's also amazing how tarkovsky never reveals character's real names. it's just "the professor", "the writer" and "the stalker". was it an intentional metaphor? was the professor meant to be the name of reason, logic, rationality while the writer is the name of emotions, desire? and then, who is the stalker? was he looking for some kind of meaning entering the Zone each time? this film also made me ask myself a question: if there was a real place like the Room in the Zone, what would I wish for? i think after this movie some thoughts will linger in the back of your head if you really have such a sacred wish that you would give anything for it to come real.
anyways, i am a mumbling mess right now because this movie is a lot to take in. i will probably come back and redo this review but i think my raw thoughts are the best to write out after watching something like this.