|Outside the Zone, everything is sepia and slow|
This is a Russian SF movie, a horror, perhaps, though nothing especially horrific occurs, set in a mysterious Zone, which few dare visit. The Zone, we hear, must be respected. Those who disrespect this grassy locale will find themselves caught in horrific and unpredictable traps, twisted, killed, destroyed. At the heart of The Zone is a room where your heart's desire will be granted, but the less direct route is always safer. So, after a (deliberately boring) first half hour ending with a journey into The Zone (on a wonderful little railway cart), our three protagonists, The Writer, the Professor and the Stalker take the most rambling and indirect path possible, rather than just walking in a straight line for about a hundred yards and either dying horrifically or ending the film early.
|Inside the Zone, everything is ostensibly deadly|
Now, there's an exciting film that could have been made here, though a rather shallower one. Pump up the cast of characters with some trap-fodder, cut the rambling, improvised-sounding philosophy, and have the most folly-filled adventurers explode in showers of blood once in a while and you have a crowd-pleasing thriller - a charmless work, but such films do well enough at the box-office. Perhaps I was raised in a more bloodthirsty generation?
|The Stalker's daughter regards beverage conveyances.|
Stalker, here, doesn't mean seedy deviant, but hunter.
Opai suggests that I've failed to see the film's merits, or have written it off unduly. Perhaps I'll revisit it some day to see what more I can find in it, but it won't be soon.
I realised after I watched it that it's a film by Andrei Tarkovsky. He's meant to be rather good, you know. He did 'Solaris' (1972), didn't he?