Top positive review
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Visually Stunning w/ Sparing Dialogue. Interpretations are endless but that only makes rewatching more interesting.
on 2 January 2017
*May Contain Spoilers*
Ive been putting off watching this for quite a while now, but after seeing this continually crop up on every 'best films to watch before you die' list online, I decided it was time to see for myself!
This film really was a visual treat, and I spent most of the time questioning 'was this really made over 40 years ago?' Dialogue is sparing as everything is pretty much designed in such a way as to be a visceral visual experience. Which according to Kubrick, should apparently not require further amplification in the way of trying to derive meanings. Nonetheless I couldn't help but try to dissect the ending for hours after watching, Im still not sure what it all means: the messages on human evolution; the monolith; the 'star child' at the end... Arthur C. Clarke's novel, released after the film, sheds some light where Kubricks film is vague and unintelligible ( but I prefer to think of books and film as 2 separate contributions).
Having done a bit of research online, I can see there is a veritable trove of different theories and interpretations on the film; the most entertaining one in my opinion, was a theory suggesting that the film could be seen as a message on nuclear power (represented by the monolith). Whilst Clarke's novel explains the monolith as a tool of an alien race which have transgressed their biological/ organic state into one of pure energy, and travel space aiding primitive species in making evolutionary steps. The interpretation of the monolith as representative of nuclear power is really rather interesting and imaginative; in this conception the two monkey clans can thus be seen as representing the US and Russia during the Cold War, and the events and interactions between HAL9000, David and Frank, become representative of the the principle of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD).
Obviously, this interpretation only really works with the film version and requires a lot of, well, interpretation. In the novel the mistakes of HAL9000 are more clearly explained as a result of his inability to resolve a conflict between his overall mission (which requires he lie to the crew), and his programmed protocols which simulataniously require him to accurately relay information to the crew. But its still nonetheless a very entertaining theory, and makes me want to re-watch the film which this in mind.
However you interpret it, or whether you wish to interpret anything from it at all, it's a stunning films with some really beautiful visuals, and if you can suffer the drag, it will be worthwhile.