Stalker

5/5
Andrei Tarkovsky's mind-bending journey through a post-apocalyptic landscape still manages to impress today
Stalker (1979)

A contemplative journey steeped in hope, faith and desire. Vague enough to leave open to interpretation but providing enough detail to ensure that you’re left asking the right questions. 

The room – a mysterious locale with the ability to grant those who enter their deepest desires. This is the destination of our three leads: a writer, a professor, and a hired guide known as the Stalker. Despite the dangerous path that lies ahead, there is nothing to prove that the room holds this power, except the Stalker’s word. It’s an excellent allegory for faith; following the word of another to provide hope and meaning to life. The question is, does it matter if what you are following isn’t true? If you believe it with enough conviction, the hope and comfort that follows are what matters most, not the answers.

Stalker is essentially 162 minutes of three men walking through a desolate landscape and talking. The thing is, it absolutely works. The length of time we spend watching every painstaking step and derivative conversation is necessary to replicate the strenuous experience. As desperation grows, sceptics become believers, swept up by the deceivably calming atmosphere. The room may provide your deepest desires but it can’t guarantee happiness. We don’t control our inner wishes, they are shaped by the materialistic world around us, a parade of riches, fame and power. All we can do is hope. 

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