Solaris

Dan Movie Reviews

Oh my goodness. Where to even begin? Tonight I saw Solaris with Timo in Westwood. The marketing blitz for this film has been ludicrous, yet I still couldn’t figure out what the movie’s about. To make a long story short: George Clooney plays a psychiatrist sent to a space station orbiting Solaris to find out what happened to the crew. There are only two of them left. Seems that these “entities” are manifesting themselves in the form of the strongest memory that a person has. In Clooney’s case, it’s his dead wife (Natascha McElhone), who killed herself. So she shows up, with no real knowledge of how she got there. The film goes back and forth (using flashbacks) to show us how they met, fell in love, etc. But none of it seems to matter. In the end, this story is ultimately about “what is existance?” and stuff like that. Yeah, I know it’s based on the novel of the same name. But my goodness – how Nitzche-esque do we need to be? At least Jeremy Davies was entertaining to watch on screen, with his paranoid rambling psychosis.

It is a story that could have been told in about 12 minutes. Instead, it was stretched tediously out to 1.5 hours, with a lot of quiet, lingering shots. Director Stephen Soderbergh should personally apologize to me for having to sit through this 2001: A Space Odyssey wannabe. $47-million was spent on this film. Where did it go? Clooney’s salary, maybe? People wonder what James Cameron has done since Titanic, and this film leaves the question lingering.