In some forbidden Zone, according to rumors, there is a room where the most cherished desires are fulfilled. A fashionable Writer and an authoritative Professor go to this room - each for their own reasons, which they prefer not to talk about. And leads them there Stalker - a conductor in the Zone - either a fool, or an apostle of a new faith.
The mass spectator seldom pays attention to the symbols and hints scattered around the film by its creators. But, even noticing them, he is inclined to put them in conformity with something definite, to find the only exact, in his opinion, interpretation. Not finding such, he, of course, is upset. You always want everything to be clear. And trying to find the answer in numerous reviews and reviews, is lost in a huge number of dissimilar versions.
I used to think that in "Mirrow" not everything can be explained just because Tarkovsky shot it to himself, for himself, because this is the most personal and autobiographical his film. But here in "Stalker" this is not, and if there is, it is not expressed to the wrong degree. But, nevertheless, is someone able to explain it entirely? I doubt it. A clear and straightforward verbal interpretation is possible not for every phenomenon, at least in view of the limitations of our language. The whole film tells us Kaidanovsky in the role of stalker, that the direct way is by no means always the shortest. And the one who tries to dissect each episode is like the Writer performed by Solonitsyn, who, while not believing in himself at all, repeats that "the world is governed by cast-iron laws", that "there is only a triangle a Bee ts, which is equal to the triangle a- prim-be-prim tse-prim ", and therefore introduces himself into a state in which the whole world seems to him" impassably boring. "
"Stalker", as is known, was removed by Tarkovsky based on the story of Strugatsky's "Picnic on the Roadside." However, even though the authors themselves took part in the creation of the film, "Stalker" is a screen version even less than "Solaris", which was the reason for the quarrel between Tarkovsky and Lem. The director forced Strugatsky to rewrite the script almost ten times, and each time he had less and less in common with his literary basis. And even when the film was already fully filmed, he could not avoid global changes: with the development of the film, most of the material was lost due to an unfortunate accident, and the picture had to be recreated almost from scratch.
From the "picnic" Strugatsky really remained very little: only the stalker and the zone. And both are not the same. In the book of danger and the anomalies of the zone were quite obvious. No living soul could be found there. Everything was immovable, quiet, dead. In the film, the zone seems almost more alive than the world surrounding it. The wind shakes bright green trees and grass, the soothing voice of the cuckoo is heard in the background. And the notorious traps never show themselves, and throwing nuts, which has a certain practical purpose in the book, resembles a superstitious ritual or an amusing reference to the joy of the fans of the story. The unusualness of the Tarkovsky zone turned out to be ghostly, hardly palpable, so one can wonder if it does not exist only in the imagination of the protagonist. And the zone itself came out not frighteningly repulsive, but fascinatingly beautiful. So each frame could be a separate exhibit of the photo exhibition.
It is foolish, of course, to talk about the superiority of filmmaking over literature or vice versa. But in the book it is impossible to express something sacral, ephemeral, without resorting to words that are treacherous, let them very little, but they reveal the veil of secrecy, however flamboyant they were. Words are obtrusive. The words are concrete. The cinema has an undeniable advantage: its visual component. Without saying a word, you can show even what can not be explained. And Tarkovsky uses this skill masterfully, and therefore is a true cinematographer.