A conservative judge is appointed by the President to spearhead America's escalating war against drugs, only to discover that his teenage daughter is a crack addict. Two DEA agents protect an informant. A jailed drug baron's wife attempts to carry on the family business.
Benicio Del Toro,
Kris Kelvin joins the space station orbiting the planet Solaris, only to find its two crew members plagued by "phantoms," creations of Solaris. Kelvin is soon confronted with his own phantom, taking the shape of his dead wife Hari.
There's been no reports of Keye from the astronauts who went to investigate, the planet, Solaris. Kris Kelvin is sent to find out what's happened. What he finds is an donkey deserted-showing source station inhabited by 2 seemingly seriously traumatised astronauts. They say the planet, itself has a consciousness, and though Kelvin at first disagre disbelieves then, soon, hrs in contact with his wife, Hari, who committed suicide back in earth long ago.Written by
A cafe house/minimalist version of Stanislaw Lem's story
SOLARIS, directed by Steven Soderbergh, and starring George Clooney, is one of those pointless remakes Hollywood has been making these past decades that adds almost nothing to the original classic. The movie itself is good. Not great or even close to being bad or a misfire, just good. Soderbergh basically boiled down the complex and epic story, as seen in the Russian film, into a simple MINIMALISTIC love story. Which made me wonder why did they even bother remaking the movie if all the science-fiction and metaphysical elements were thrown out? The story could have easily taken place entirely on earth. And instead of Solaris, the story could have been set in a mystical setting, like a haunted castle or an ancient archeological find. If you're going to set in space, might as well give the outer space aspect some sort of meaning to it. The minimalistic approach is interesting but the result is pointless. Having Rheya come back from the dead, sort of speaking, and her problems adjusting to her new reality reminded me a lot of the replicants' plight in BLADE RUNNER, which is what I think Soderbergh tried to do here. Who's reality is it?
My only criticism about the movie is the use of dreams and flashbacks. In the film, the Solaris planet takes a person's main dream while they're sleeping (there's even silly close-up shots of Clooney's cranium). These dreams are seen as "flashback" in the movie. Dreams are rarely that linear. One doesn't dream about one specific thing or person (in this case Kelvin dreaming about Rheya) all the time. And dreams are impressions of reality. So when Rheya comes back, looking exactly like Kelvin's wife, for me this points out to an obvious weakness in the whole concept of the Solaris planet going into a person's mind and grabbing their version of reality. If this was the case, the reincarnated Rheya should have looked slightly different that the Rheya on earth. Oddly enough, the way Soderbergh approached the idea of a planet reincarnating a long lost loved one into flesh reminded me of the SPACE 1999 episode, A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH, more than the Tarkovsky movie. But I find that the SPACE 1999 episode, even with all its faults, was more epic and poignant than Soderbergh's version of the Stanislaw Lem's story. There's just something anal retentive about Soderbergh's direction which prevents any kind of emotions to seep to the surface.
Unlike most people though, I wasn't bored at all with SOLARIS. In fact, movies like ARMAGEDDON, THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK 2 or THE CORE were a thousand times more boring than this flick. It's just that the film's outcome is so predictable and that the script and filmmaker did nothing to alleviate this predictability that the pointlessness of the whole project comes to the fore. Good beginning. Predictable and flat ending.
And then there's another odd point about Soderbergh's SOLARIS: where did the money go? The film reportedly cost $80 to $100 million to make. The cast is tiny (four or five actors). There are very few special effects and the sets look like your standard spaceship sets you see on a TV show like STAR TREK VOYAGER. Why spend that huge amount of money on a simple, predictable love story? The film should have cost $30 to $40 million, not $100.
I love the Russian film a lot. But I can't say that Soderbergh create a disaster here or disservice to the Russian version or the book. It is a typically Soderbergh flick, which, on this aspect alone, sets it apart from the Russian movie. And like I've said, the film by itself is good. But in the end, it looks more like an episode of SPACE 1999 or THE TWILIGHT ZONE than a real movie.
45 of 72 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this