Stalker (1979)

Stalker (1979)

1979 163 Minutes

Drama | Science Fiction | Thriller

Near a gray and unnamed city is the Zone, an alien place guarded by barbed wire and soldiers, and where the normal laws of physics are victim to frequent anomalies. A Stalker, one of only a handful...

Overall Rating

9 / 10
Verdict: Great

User Review

  • Stalker is pure philosophy conveyed in the medium of film. What an incredibly heavy experience this was. It made me question myself, humanity and our world. Honestly, I've not seen anything like this. Absurdly ethereal and existential. Set in a dystopian future where a meteorite has collided with Earth, a mysterious and ominous area called "The Zone" is left in is wake. An individual known as a "Stalker" guides two others to a room where your innermost wish comes true. Their journey, unbeknown to them, becomes an epiphany on humanity. Deconstructing what makes us human. Looking into our deadly sins. Contrasting articulation with beliefs. Stalker is such a unique experience, that I don't think I can fully grasp its magnitude. I will say it's not perfect and not Tarkovsky's masterpiece as many claim it to be. Separated into two chapters, part one was incredibly dull. I struggled to become invested in the few characters that are presented. Emotionally, they were empty. I felt nothing towards them. But, interestingly, I connected with the script. Way ahead of its time, and possibly one of the most thought provoking screenplays I've seen. It might take multiple watches just to truly appreciate and admire the complexity of the dialogue. One sentence can trigger multiple metaphors. Andrei Tarkovsky's direction was sublime. A ridiculous amount of long takes, slow camera movement and consistent scenes of minimal dialogue. The visceral imagery and hallucinogenic narrative assists in conveying the large questions that Tarkovsky wanted to explore. The dystopian environment felt authentically natural, resembled nuclear fallout. Also some genuine scenes of suspense, where the exclusive fear of the unknown sustains tension. Creatively crafted, given its time of release. It's just...a lot to take in. It's a shame about the first 45 minutes, but the overall mystery and elusiveness of the story appealed to me. Would I watch it again? Who knows, probably not.