Mirror ★★★★★

I can’t properly put my thoughts and feelings into words whenever I talk about this movie. God knows how many times I’ve retyped THE OPENING LINE, so here goes nothing, forgive me if I ramble:

Films to me hold a special place in my heart.

Out of all visual mediums, all art forms, I feel that cinema to me is the one that really reaches deep. It’s an extension of the human psyche. It’s a conveyor belt of fun, hopes, dreams, fears, memories, thoughts. Only through movies do I feel properly overwhelmed. Only through movies was I able to get through some tough spots in my life. Only through movies do I really understand the power of art and language. 

When I watch Mirror, I feel like I’ve seen a gateway to a history, a life I’ve never seen. Not only that, oddly enough I feel like it’s a transcendent, something metaphysical. Something I won’t understand on a physical level, but holds so many layers of emotional complexity.

The last time I’ve properly felt like this was when I watched The Double Life Of Veronique.

Each shot, each movement of the camera, I feel like I’ve been transported to a world so familiar yet foreign in my heart. A sense of calm washes over me when I see the gentle breeze of wind rush through greenery. A sense of calm as the camera gently glides over water, trees, embers. That catharsis I get when I watch the house burn down. I can feel the warm and slightly harsh flames, I can practically smell the smoke as it ascends into the sky. To me, watching all of this feels like I’m practically drifting, floating, like my soul has rushed out of my body.

Andrei Tarkovsky creates a film so personal that while I won’t understand it. I can feel emotion radiating off each frame. Of a childhood lost. Memories reflected through shattered glass panes. I feel like I know him yet I don’t know him at all. 

He reflects on morality, he reflects on mortality, he reflects about his philosophies and he reflects oh his family. He shows or maybe reflects about his maternal bond. It ditches all forms of conventional story telling, the definition of structure seems to collapse. Yet what comes forth is a new form of storytelling, one through emotion. Maybe, they key to understanding it isn’t wanting to solve it but experiencing it. 

To me, it’s Tarkovsky’s love letter to cinema. His celebration of life. His mourning of losses and bonds shattered. Most importantly, a passageway into his past, memories and feelings only he could properly understand.

As I write this review, only one thought comes to mind: Why do I feel so sad?

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