Top positive review
45 people found this helpful
Fantastic, but unsummarisable - see below...
on 12 October 2000
Yet again, Tarkovsky gives us what he is best at: a deeply moving/worrying/almost spiritual plot, excellent scenery, and his famed long shots (some last up to 10 minutes, the most film that could be fitted to his cameras).
A short plot summary (purists, look away now): War breaks out in Russia, and the family which we are following reacts badly to the planes overhead and the general threatening feeling of atomic bombs. The head of the household prays that night that if only everything were to be put back to how it was the previous morning, he would give up everything. Everything... His house, his family, his small deaf/dumb child; everything.
He wakes up the next morning to find there has never been a war.
To seriously give away the plot ending, an interesting note is that when filming the last dramatic scene for the first time, not only did lots of things go wrong, but finally the camera jammed. This was a problem, since they actually burnt down the house! (No models...) So they rebuilt the house and did the shot again. That particular shot, the climax to the film, lasts around 7 minutes, and is pure genius.
I would recommend this film to anyone that likes any of Tarkovsky's other 6 films, and also to anyone that likes Kubrick's work. The tension mixed with the use of various "proper" music (eg Bach's St Matthew Passion) is breathtaking.