Stalker ★★★½

70s Ranked 👍

Appealing to the mystical with a striking zeal that at times feels as though a picturesque novel with a haunting atmosphere, Stalker is a tale about the perpetual conflict between reason and sentiment, mind versus heart, and art against science.

To say that I’ve understood the exact nature of the Zone and the entirety of the narrative is simply pretentious. But the film is accomplished and written with a huge depth and eloquence--a well-realized post-apocalyptic sci-fi that uncovers the spiritual and philosophical realities that are ubiquitous in humanity and abstract at implications. Its pretenses and banality creates a feeling that there is something inconceivable in the world, that something is outlandishly absent in reality and that it’s greater than the realms of humanity’s understanding.

The rich greenery, vibrant palette and the unspoiled wilderness of the Zone plays a fine contrast with the sepia-shot outside world, where the normal earthbound regulations are detected. To get in, a special guide from a Stalker is needed. A Stalker is an interloper, a figure who can bring two differing worlds together. Those curious are assisted and are led through the barricades and into the conundrum filled with uncertainties and the supernatural.

Stalker tries to reconcile dissimilar world views of a writer and a professor while simultaneously antagonizing sadistically its titular character. In its culmination, a revelation has occurred, manifesting that what we are witnessing in the entirety is no more than the two sides of the same skeptical modernist coin. Tarkovsky presents the narrative in yet again a glacial pace that is baffling and intricate, leaving the authoritative reality lost to time, demanding absolute attentiveness and a conscientious study that is ever challenging.

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