CinemaCl❄️wn’s review published on Letterboxd:
A unique, unparalleled & unprecedented achievement in motion picture history, 2001: A Space Odyssey is a path-breaking cinema and a splendid work of art that's responsible for putting science in science-fiction. Far ahead of its time and one of the first films to take its genre seriously, this film redefines sci-fi filmmaking unlike anything before or after it, features some of the most iconic moments ever captured on film, and is an elegant mix of remarkable cinematography, pioneering visual n sound effects, scientific accuracy, epic score & a distinct style of narration.
2001: A Space Odyssey deals with elements of human evolution, technology, artificial intelligence & extra-terrestrial life. It is divided into 3 segments & an epilogue, each connected with an extra-terrestrial reference. Kubrick's first venture into the science-fiction genre features all his usual trademarks but its treatment is vastly different from his earlier works. The pace is deliberately slowed down, the narration is through visuals & music, character interaction is minimal and the engaging & confusing plot only gets better, more transparent & satisfying on multiple viewings.
Coming to technical aspects, the cinematography is a delight for anyone who appreciates great photography. Editing is precisely carried out. Set pieces are beautiful to look at and the visual n sound effects are so groundbreaking & ahead of its time that many films brimming with CGI today are still no match to it. Also, it is one of the most accurate depictions of space travel and the silence that fills the space scenes not only serves its purpose as accurate science but also adds to the mood of the film. Plus, the fact that Kubrick shot the moon sequence with such level of detail & accuracy even before the Apollo landing never fails to impress.
Even though 2001 is a visual ride of astonishing beauty, it isn't a movie that everyone is going to appreciate. It is a long technical film that runs at an unusually slow pace, is full of metaphysical complexities and is destined to polarise viewers. Yet, there is no denying that it has inspired almost every space film since its release and will continue to do so for as long as cinema exists. It's an amazing journey through space & time that raises some thought-provoking questions about our very own existence, is full of philosophical & allegorical meanings, and concludes with an ending that is open for each viewer to interpret their way.
Scoring full marks in all aspects of filmmaking and influencing not only cinema but science, culture & art as well, 2001: A Space Odyssey is a landmark moment in motion picture history that nearly killed its genre, for it set a standard so high that it hasn't been equaled or challenged since. Universally & unanimously hailed as one of the greatest & most influential films ever made, it is the best work by the master filmmaker who made a career out of crafting one masterpiece after another. One hundred percent recommended. Multiple viewings advised.