“After discovering a mysterious artifact buried beneath the Lunar surface, mankind sets off on a quest to find its origins with help from intelligent supercomputer H.A.L. 9000.” -IMDB
So for probably the first half of this “classic,” I was rolling my eyes. I thought “Okay, this is just one of those movies that everyone calls a classic, but no one actually likes, you just have to pretend to because no one is willing to drop the facade.” But then I got to second half and MY GOD! This movie is a TRIP! Let me clarify…
The thing you always hear about this movie is that it is ahead of its time. BUT MY GOD IT IS SO AHEAD OF ITS TIME! Considering it was released in 1968, a year before the moon landing, the insight it displays into how humans will likely use technology in the future is truly chilling. However, the film’s focus on technology operates as more of a driving force to discuss human nature. We often believe that our technological advancements are moving us past the dilemmas of human nature and morality, only for that belief to be proven wrong time and time again.
But hey, that was just one of my interpretations of the film. I now understand how this movie has been studied for fifty years and how it will continued to be studied for another fifty. It is simultaneously minimalistic, with barely a word being spoken for at least an hour, and yet epic, with sweeping shots and a classic soundtrack that everyone in the world now inherently recognizes. It is so intensely artistic and never falters from its particular viewpoint. And yet I also respect that Kubrick never shared his own interpretation of the film, he allowed each viewer to judge that for themselves.
It’s a very strange movie to describe, which makes this one of my more difficult reviews haha. I can’t call it an enjoyable watch, because it’s not like watching your favorite comedy. It’s definitely watching art. But if you make it to the end, it is truly mindblowing and I have a sneaking suspicious it would be even more insane under the influence of some mind-altering substances. Unfortunately, that’s just not my jam; but hey, if you try it out, let me know how it goes!
Rating: WORTH THE WATCH
*Just hang in there, I promise.
If you like this movie, you should also see: The other Kubrick classics, i.e. The Shining, A Clockwork Orange, Dr. Strangelove
Streaming: HBO Max
With: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick