2001: A Space Odyssey

Why is the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey such an epic? I found out today. The movie is directed by Stanley Kubrick and is based on science fiction stories by Arthur C Clarke. The movie transcends evolution, time and space. There are 4 distinct parts in the movie. In the first one (The Dawn Of Man), primitive apes develop tool wielding cognition after a black monolith appears near their home. The second part is set in 2001, where humans have already moved so ahead in technology that space travel and computers are common. A researcher visits Moon to investigate a black monolith. The third (Jupiter Mission) is 18 months later when a manned mission is sent to Jupiter. In the futuristic spacecraft, some of the humans have been put into hibernation to conserve resources. The spacecraft has a 2 member human crew and is run by a computer named HAL 9000 which can talk and listen to humans. During the mission, a computer error causes a strange problem. In the end (Beyond The Infinite), the last survivor of the mission makes it to Jupiter to experience something unseen and unimaginable.

2001 is a very silent movie. Dialogues are extremely minimal. The special effects are mind blowing. The design of the spacecrafts, rotating gravity simulator (this is my favorite!), spacesuits, space travel, computers, I could go on and on. Even in 2006, I’m amazed at Kubrick’s efforts to make these possible way back in the 60s. The background score (which is now very famous) is what primarily communicates emotions to the viewer, replacing dialogue. The technical details are impeccable. For example, whenever outer space is shown, it is silent ’cause there is no sound in space. The ending is psychedelic and its interpretation is left to the viewer. This movie is no doubt the work of a perfectionist. A must watch! Just be aware that is not your average popcorn movie, but a poetry for the senses and demands a bit of patience.

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