2001: A Space Odyssey is a remarkable achievement in the field of visual effects and film editing. It’s not just a movie – it’s an example of art of the highest sort. People are often mislead by its slow pace, lengthy sequences, very little action and confusing themes. But that’s the true beauty of this masterpiece. I don’t think that there will ever be another picture so innovative, not on the technical level, but on the ideological one. It’s surely an epic drama about adventure and exploration. But it’s also much more than that. It’s truly overwhelming what this 2-hour long feature can say through the magnificent images that appear on screen not only to astound us, but to make us realize that there is so much more to life than we already know.
Taking into account that it’s been released in 1968 it should be considered as a fundamental science fiction movie, not only because of its staggering beauty and profound outer-space experiences, but also because of the ideas that’s been implemented in this highly metaphorical and philosophical creation.
Stanley Kubrick directed a movie that probably has thousands of various interpretations. And people are coming with new ones every day. From connections to Nietzschean ideologies about the potential of mankind, through references to religious content, up to the theory of conception, which regards the basis of human evolution that’s featured in the film and endures within all of the succeeding chapters.
The reappearance of the mysterious black monolith only makes the movie more puzzling and interesting, so to say. The viewer doesn’t necessarily discover its true meaning, but one can only imagine that it serves as a prominent link in the humanity’s evolutionary tale.
It’s really fascinating how all of the chapters connect in a clear and expressive manner. It all starts with the Dawn of Mankind, where a tribe of apes finds the black monolith for the first time, and suddenly realizes how to use weapons, in order to win over the precious territory. A quick throw of a bone into the air and we’re in the vast space, a few million years into the future. That’s where the mystique adventure happens, and all that people know about the universe is about to change completely.
I have to say that my favorite character of all is HAL 9000 (voiced by Douglas Rain). Even though he is just a computer, he is somehow able to form emotions, and thus, paradoxically, it may be said that he is the most human of all the crew members of Discovery One. Even though he tries to eliminate all of the other passengers, he is just doing it to protect himself and the whole Jupiter mission.
When it comes to visual effects, the most groundbreaking part of it occurs in the fourth part, during the Star Gate sequence. Through merging various colors, patterns, drawings, photographs, and high-contrast images Kubrick produced a thing of utmost beauty. It also formed a basis for the sci-fi movies that started to emerge in the following years.
2001: A Space Odyssey might shock you, confuse you, or even disturb you by the story that it depicts. However, it’s truly a breathtaking movie, one that can be viewed as an intergalactic opera, perhaps. So get ready and prepare for one of the most divine shows that you will ever see.