The Meditations
20 November 2015 • 4 min read

2001: A Movie Review

Man people love this movie!. I can’t imagine why they love this movie so much though, I’ve seen some of Kubrick’s other works which I have at least understood, but this movie is whole different thing. I think reviewing a movie is quite a tough job and nobody can do justice to the vision of director, what maybe apparent and enjoyable to one person maybe contrived and boring to other. A reviewer may adore the snail pace of one movie and be bored to sleep by the same pace of another, the point is that since a good movie is all about a good experience and the experiences are extremely subjective in nature, the subjectiveness of a review follows. What this implies is that never trust a review, use it as vague guideline, trust only the broadest and strongest of the experiences expressed in the review and watch the movie yourself to make your own view. This is a review of 2001: A Space Oddessey.

I like Kubrick’s work

I love Kubrick’s work, well if not all of it at least I am in deep love with The Shining. Other movies like Eyes Wide Shut, Dr. Strangelove and Clockwork Orange, I could comprehend and to some extent enjoy. I don’t understand symbolism in movies, I hate that kind of shit, to me movies are about awesome audio visual experiences, these may not be obvious in the first watching but after thinking about it for a while or reading other people’s thoughts clears the fog and you kindda sortta start enjoying the movie. A good movie isn’t good storytelling it’s a compelling experience. Look at the The Shining it’s a fuckin mind blowing experience, even in the beginning of that movie I could feel the overbearing presence of the ‘hotel’ or ‘caretaker’ and no scene in any horror films that I have seen tops the tension created in that scene where the kid is riding his bicycle. The Shining in my opinion is a masterpiece and 2001 is not. I enjoyed the black comedy in Dr. Strangelove, it left me befuddled, I didn’t know whether to laugh at the ridiculousness or be horrified that no matter the precautions we take there will always be certain combination of things that can go wrong leading to apocalypse. I really don’t know what to think of Clockwork Orange, on the face it seems to be an exposé of our hipocricy, insensitivity and cruelty, but I think I will see things more clearly as time goes. As for the Eyes Wide Shut I think I understood the thing but I really don’t care about it, it is not a movie that would like to ruminate on.

2001

The scenes are brilliant even by the standards of 2015 the whole takes of space and planets is too cool to have come out in 1968. It is hard to imagine how wonderful it must have felt to watch that cinematography back then, I am its awe. That is not to say that I like all the visuals in space, I particulary hated worm hole (or whatever that was) travel sequence and what the heck were those highly filtered images of landscape?!. It all seemed like the special effects guy was all doped out, it was too bizarre for my taste. I also don’t get this grand thought of evolution of human, that the end marks the evolution of humans from tool using specie to a grand stellar specie. I don’t like to think on that grand scale, it is feels like intellectual masturbation to me. This were the very same sentiments of mine when I saw Interstellar and they are likely to remain that way. I wouldn’t mind a leap of imagination if the movie isn’t as convulated as 2001 or as pretentious as Interstellar. Heck, Contact deals with super intelligent alien beings and interstellar transportation devices but it is so much grounded in questessential human nature I can’t help but sing its praises. Another awesome sequence in the movie is the dawn of the man sequence, it was just perfect, Roger Ebert was very apt in his review to say that if this sequence were shown as an educational video it would teach more about the evolution of humans than any number of text books can. It is a fantastic piece of audio visual art. The tension in the scenes on Discover One is well crafted but feels out of place. Some have said that HAL9000 is the ultimate tool the mankind creates and thus it becomes ready of evolution but I think it is too grand. The rest of the movie from HAL9000’s decomissioning goes simply bonkers. So, though the movie (without the crazy part at the end of it) was very good it feels utterly hopeless without a proper ending.

So, nah. 2001 wouldn’t be awesome enough to make it to my list of awesome movies and I wouldn’t recommend to anybody.

Post by: Ajinkya Tejankar