Movie Review – 2001: A Space Odyssey

Posted: January 9, 2018 in Movie Reviews

Space Sells

A film of which I have vague memory of monkeys jumping here and there. I was force fed this movie by my friend, it was one of the first five movies I watched when I got a computer. Needless to say I was bored beyond words. But what I don’t understand now is, now I found it to me one of the most entertaining of Kubrick’s movie, even better than A Clockwork Orange. Still Shining and Barry Lyndon remain to be on top of these two for me.

space odyssey

The best part about the movie is it works in Space Time. Where things happen slow, emotions less, music nil but tension high. In general in other sci-fi movies it’s not the same. The music is jarring almost in every scene, in every scene you feel like you’re off ground, in every scene you thing as if an imminent disaster is going to happen and deep within you want it happen, whether or not you get a positive or negative outcome from it.

So here in Space Odyssey you feel as if you’re in space rather than watching someone being in space. That’s the biggest achievement of Kubrick here. Even if you’re thrilled with other films, it feels as if you’re in 4D ride but not really up there in space. There is no time to think of anything when you’re kept on tenterhooks always. The changing of antenna control device is classic example of that. It takes place in a relatively lengthier manner than what you get to see in your regular films, on top it there is no music. In fact the acting is brilliant too because you can’t do much when you neither have dialogues nor people around you. What’s even more brilliant is the whole scene happens again when HAL asks them to replace and check. How many times have we undergone this meticulous process in cinema? And not a moment of it is boring.

Of course it poses a lot of questions and the opening scenes look a bit artificial. In fact while I watched the episode it felt like Kubrick was overdoing. I always had this apprehension while watching a Kubrick movie. I wish it had been more philosophical than aiming for perfection. With perfection there is a sense of detachment which happens. It works for certain movies, prime example being Barry Lyndon but with others it proves to be over burden. Even though on one side I could appreciate the futuristic airport and travel to the moon I was like ‘oh not again’ when the airhostess walks on the walk or a Poole goes on for a circular run. It’d have been nice for a lesser organic movie but not for this one. This feels only like a gimmick which would lead to appreciation of Kubrick. How clever he directs, how efficiently the camera is handled etc.

Special mention has to be given to HAL. He’d go down as one of the most villainous character. Nothing but red light, still it brings so much villainy. Can’t define why it happens, may be because of the starring red light, the cold voice or the eerie environment which HAL sets. If HAL’s revenge is as cunning as a human one, his death is even better which almost makes us feel guilty thinking as if we’re killing a life. The change of voice and then the memory going to the initial one is also such a gem.

What happens next is the part which truly elevates the movie. Those few minutes when being pulled into a colored vortex to a space unknown where Bowman sees parts of himself in various stages is eclectic. I think that’s where the greatness of film lies.

 

 

 

 

 

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