Mirror ★★★

#42/100 Top Foreign Movies List
#62/100 Arts & Faith - Top 100 Spiritually Significant Films

Tarkovsky is viewed as a rare film genius. I find that my response to his films has been quite mixed. I have at least learned to modify my expectations and accept that his often surreal and heavily symbolic style is going to likely lack a clear linear story.  

But the mirror has likely been for me the most elusive of his movies. There is a steady impression of time warp throughout as well as movement back and forth between real life and a dream world, between colour and B&W. It seems that the main female actress may have assumed more than one character in the movie. I did find her quite tantalizing in the way she carried herself and conveyed such a variety of emotions in her facial expressions.  

It was hard not to miss the frequent placement of mirrors throughout the movie.  But what they exactly signified was unclear. There was a lot of historical footage of wars, including WWII and the dead body of Hitler and the dropping of the atomic bomb.  A document read by Ignat that depicted the separation of the Russian church from the rest of Europe was particularly interesting. But how any of this history connected with the characters in this story was beyond my grasp.

I understand that this was one of Tarkovsky’s most personal films and I am more than willing to grant him broad artistic license and accept that this film may legitimately make many reviewers top movie lists.  But I will have to confess that the meaning and personal significance of this film largely eluded me and my rating is a reflection of my own limitations and not necessarily a depiction of the quality of the film.

Block or Report