2001: A Space Odyssey

If you found my previous review was a bit lacking, please forgive me. This 2 1/2 hour long epic was lingering in my mind, therefore it was hard to think about the amazing qualities of Aguirre, the Wrath of God. For those who aren't film buffs, I'd just like to say that many of the best film critics/communities in the world have, for one reason or the next, placed this particular movie in their top 10. Though the order differs from list to list, the fact remains that so many critics seem to adore this movie.Obviously, my curiosity was piqued - not to mention I'm a huge fan of Stanley Kubrick - and I eventually caved in and watched the film.

To put it shortly, this film blew me away completely. This isn't just any film, this is a work of entertaining and philosophical art. This movie has an insane amount of layers of symbolism and is, without a doubt, the most conceptually complex film I've ever seen in my life. It's definitely not a film for the impatient or those who adore the latest popcorn flicks at the the theater. It's an expertly-crafted and amazingly directed masterpiece.

Normally, I'd talk about plot and all that jazz, but this film isn't so much about character/plot than it is about its processes. However, for those interested in the still entertaining - though not as deep - surface-layer sci-fi story, I suppose I shall have to say a little about it. The plot revolves around the evolution of man, following him from his dawn to 2001's Jupiter mission to the 'next step' in his evolution. We come across some interesting characters, however, such as David bowman and Heywood Floyd. The most interesting, and iconic, character of the film, though, would be HAL or the HAL 9000 computer system.

Like I said, though, this film isn't so much about typical plot stories, as it is about the processes of the film. We're given tons of hidden meanings, with some elements of the film baring double, or even triple, layers of meaning, with the most recognized question being 'what is the meaning of the monolith?'. Even such things as symmetry and wind can contain some of the most hidden of messages. Though some of these messages, like government conspiracy, are harder to find and observe, others like the evolution of man and the enslavement of man by technology are far easier to pick out. This great multitude of themes is, indeed, quite fascinating and Kubrick even manages to make the delivering of these themes to be just as entertaining.

The film is also visually breathtaking, beating modern day CGI by a landslide. Though one might argue that the ships are "too slow" and that it "makes the film drag', there's meaning to the slow pace. Not to mention seeing them zip by would be kind of silly, as well as less unrealistic (as the film strives for realist sci-fi). The classical music put to these scenes is also wonderful, adding atmosphere to some scenes that would have felt cold without it. The best piece of music, and the one most often associated with 2001, would be Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

The film is breathtakingly deep on so many level, reaching the mind to be a dream-like and pleasureful film of sci-fi and philosophy. 2001 can even be enjoyed without knowing the hidden subtexts, though without them the film may seem uneven.

Sophisticated, entertaining, and a visual treat, 2001: A Space Odyssey is amazing - I can't say it enough. So amazing that I, personally, have even moved it into my top five. I highly recommend this brilliant masterpiece by Stanley Kubrick, as there's definitely nothing like it.

10/10 - Best of the Best





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