Someone would have done it eventually. Gus Van Sant adapted Psycho. The Coen Brothers tried their hand at The Ladykillers. Naturally, someone, somehow, would try Solaris. A classic space-going arthouse piece from Andrei Tarkovsky is not exactly easy to adapt. Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney take one for the team, in much the same shape as Vince Vaughn did back when he brought Norman Bateman to life for Van Sant. Not every remake has to be dreadful. As long as the story is intact and the message is still reciprocated by audiences, then Solaris could coast through its Hollywood lifespan. That is what it needs to do, and it succeeds where so many other remakes have failed. Those simple moments are done well. Simple is simple.
As I cautiously enter my second Andrei Tarkovsky movie, it’s nice to think that I’ve still got so many of his classic pieces of cinema left to tackle. Tarkovsky was no stranger to elusive messages and broadly varied reasonings throughout his films. He places in his films something to strive for, information to grapple with as the story unfolds. Well, he didn’t do that in Ivan’s Childhood, but that was a sorely engaging and gripping film that relied on the harrowing nature of war. Solaris relies on similar trends of grief, loss and inexperienced terror, all in the form of an inability to believe what is right there in front of our very eyes.