Sam Thompson’s review published on Letterboxd:
So I finished this earlier today and have let it marinate for hours. I have a general concept of the overall themes and message on the first few layers of the surface. But when I think about finer details and meanings on deeper levels, my brain is like Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction looking around confused and lost.
Tarkovsky absolutely hypnotised me here and gave me plenty of time to reflect on images as they were happening. I particularly remember this vivid image of two hugging decaying bodies with a green plant growing from them. The atmosphere of the Zone allowed me to ponder small details as they were happening. Which is what made Stalker incredibly enthralling. It's a hectic puzzle full of questions that I honestly might never find the answers to. Just like life in a way.
Speaking about the hypnotic imagery from a direction and cinematography standpoint, dude the framing here is deadset immaculate. Tarkovksy's use of frames within the frame is unreal. He doesn't cut to track dialogue or anything and so I'm just staring at the screen in anticipation as though I'm going to miss something immensely important if I look away for even a second. I find this expert allegorical storytelling really inspiring and hopeful on some weird level. Like I wish I could make a movie only half this good.
I'm eager to dive into more of Tarkovsky's work as I found this wholly unique and contemplative. I have this feeling where I want to say so much more but I got no idea where to start or even what to say in the first place.