I decided to finally see 2001: A Space Odyssey tonight. I know, I know, what kind of science fiction fan am I?
Well, for one I am the sort that takes 4 hours to watch a 2 hour and 20 minute movie. The pace of the movie was so heart-stoppingly slow I fell asleep more than a dozen times. It made Remains of the Day seem like Raiders of the Lost Ark. I don’t need to be fed a series of fast paced, shallow, action scenes while I drool and munch popcorn, but goddamn! that was ssslllloooowwwww!!!!!
When I first started the movie, I thought the picture on my television had gone out. Two and a half minutes of nothing. Then some music, then finally there is something on the screen. That is like a “musical” piece that has 5 minutes of silence. It is either artistic nihilism, or boorish snobbery.
Many times I hit the fast forward and it was still slow. The cinematography was beautiful at many points, but I don’t need 4 minutes to watch a pod land. Perhaps it was spellbinding to watch that slow back in 1968.
As for the story. The relation of the HAL storyline to the main “storyline” is unexplained. They are two separate stories. The HAL storyline is much better than the main story.
And as for that main story. It isn’t. I am not an enemy of ambiguity, but when any interpretation of a story’s ending is as good as any other, and nothing points either way, what you have is nothing profound or deep, what you have is ambiguity.
The only thing we know for sure is actually established over two hours earlier. An alien monolith jump-started our ancestor primates to intelligence. After that we have a computer that goes bad. And how that relates to what follows after he is defeated – I don’t know.