1979 [RUSSIAN]

Action / Drama / Sci-Fi

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright92%
IMDb Rating8.110133530


Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

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720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.45 GB
Russian 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 41 min
P/S ...
2.7 GB
Russian 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 41 min
P/S 1 / 89

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Bored_Dragon7 / 10

Imagine listening to a cheap philosophical audio-book while walking through an exhibition of art photography with depressive motifs ...

This cult achievement of Andrei Tarkovsky is generally accepted as one of the masterpieces of Russian cinematography. When I had the opportunity to see it on the big screen, I couldn't miss it. Fortunately, the ticket was extremely cheap.

"Stalker" is based on the SF novel "Roadside Picnic" by the Strugatskiy brothers, who adapted it into the script themselves. Although its genre classification is the same as that of the novel, "Stalker" is a philosophical and psychological drama, whose SF premise is only mentioned, and I believe that it is no more than a mere illusion in the minds of the protagonists, so the SF determinant leads to completely wrong expectations.

The film opens with a very slow but mesmerizingly atmospheric and superbly shot scene, each frame of which is an art photograph. Already in those first moments, I saw myself rating it a ten, but from there on the film only goes downhill.

To be clear, the rest of the film doesn't visually lag behind that first scene, but too long shots that show totally uninteresting people who do more or less nothing, no matter how beautifully shot, are not enough to hold my attention for almost three hours. If I wanted to enjoy top photography, I would go to an exhibition and not to the cinema. Of those three hours, perhaps a third is filled with plot, which again is largely reduced to monologues, while nothing really happens. Essentially, this looks more like a monodrama than a movie.

In the center of events is an area called the Zone, in which there is a room that, for those who get it alive, fulfills the greatest wish. The basic message of the film is: "Be careful what you wish for it might come true", because the Room does not fulfill the wish that we consciously ask for, but the essential one, hidden in the depths of man.

This is an interesting premise from which you will not see anything in the film. We don't know for sure whether the Zone is special in any way at all, nor do any of the protagonists use the Room. The premise is only there to give us the background to study the personalities of the people who headed to the zone and their guide, Stalker.

The plot itself can be told in a few sentences, while the whole story is reduced to a philosophical monologue by the author through the mouths of three protagonists. There are no original philosophical ideas or interesting views on life. Just a bunch of true, but long-worn philosophical and psychological phrases, pretentiously packaged so that they seem more profound and significant than they really are.

General impression - beautifully filmed but pretentious and hard to watch, without the essential strength to justify the effort. Just because of the technical qualities and the atmosphere, I can't go below


"The photography, in this case, is like the wrapping of an empty present box." - trans_mauro.

Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird10 / 10

More Tarkovsky brilliance

Stalker may not be my favourite of Andrei Tarkovsky's films, that belongs to Andrei Rublev, which is from personal opinion the greatest Soviet film ever made. It's also not his most accessible(Ivan's Childhood),if anything only Solaris is more divisive. However Stalker is still an outstanding film, it loses momentum ever so slightly at the end but not enough for it to hurt the film.

As with all Tarkovsky films, Stalker is brilliantly made. It is grittier and more muted in colour than with his other films, but still maintains that hypnotic dream-like quality that the cinematography in his films have. The scenery is evocatively atmospheric, mundane but in a good way. Tarkovsky's direction again is nigh-on impeccable, showing a mastery of visuals and mood. Stalker is hauntingly scored but never in a too obvious way, while of all his films to me it was Stalker that had the most thought-provoking writing. Not all of it is easy to understand at first but a lot of the lines really makes one think a long while after. The story is not for everyone, with some finding the deliberate pacing too much for them but the storytelling is actually very suspenseful and there is a chilling atmosphere throughout, the film is slow but the suspense, atmosphere and cinematography kept this viewer glued to the seat. The acting's of the kind with the actors having times where they don't say a lot or anything but their body language, eyes and expressions communicate an awful lot, which is every bit as powerful as when speaking.

Overall, an outstanding film if not Tarkovsky's best or most accessible. If you are a fan of Tarkovsky, or at least familiar with him ,you shouldn't have too much trouble getting into Stalker. 9.5/10 Bethany Cox

Reviewed by Leofwine_draca3 / 10

Gloomy, depressing, and way overlong

STALKER is another long-winded movie from Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky, this time a science fiction yarn in the same guise as SOLARIS. The setting is a post-apocalyptic landscape in which a couple of characters work their way through a devastated world looking for answers in a place known as the 'alien zone' which may contain extraterrestrial life. The best part of the movie is the authentic setting; word has it that the genuinely radioactive Estonian locations resulted in the early deaths of a number of the crew members, not least the director himself.

Sadly, STALKER is one of those films that goes on interminably and as a mood piece this just doesn't hold the attention. Had Tarkovsky made the running time more reasonable (i.e. under half what it is) it might have been more interesting, but as it stands it's just an endless ramble through the wilderness with few answers at the end. I found it gloomy and depressing, not to mention sleep-inducing.

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