aprilxiong’s review published on Letterboxd:
I tried watching this film many years ago, but fell asleep almost immediately. I remembered little bits and pieces of the film, or at least I thought I did, until I managed to stay awake watching Mirror a few days ago. I was very surprised to discover that none of what I remembered was actually present in the film - were those memories just moments from my own dreams? Or did my mind subconsciously change the memories over time, so that they became completely different?
This is the first film I've seen in a theater during the pandemic, and it wasn't the best experience. My glasses kept fogging up since I was wearing a mask. But I suppose that's fitting, for a work like this. I loved the beginning of this film, but struggled more towards the end. I have so many questions, and no answers.
It seems people have a lot to say about how profound this film is, and how much it affected them. It didn't hit me quite on that level, though I appreciated the technical mastery behind it (and the scene in the field with the wind blowing through it will always be a favorite). I also deeply relate to the narrator's sentiment: “I can’t wait to see this dream in which I’ll be a child again and feel happy again because everything will be ahead, everything will be possible.”
Despite all that, despite my great respect for Tarkovsky as a true artist and poet, and a master of the cinematic medium, there's something about his films that I just don't connect with on a fundamental level. He will never be one of my favorite directors. Perhaps it's because I have little to no interest in Russia as a country. Perhaps it's because his view of cinema, and art, is so uncompromising, so pure, that I simply don't have the fortitude to withstand it. I can see his genius, but I can't feel it or understand it...