Childhood memories through the dark refraction of still waters, regrets and reflections upon a life passing away towards the unknown. Andrei Tarkovsky’s conceit becomes a universal human experience, shared emotions that run deep like roots into the damp earth of the soul, and exhale as a breath upon waves of grass, guilt burned away, an entropic elemental estuary that leads to salvation.
THE MIRROR is about nothing, a disassociated cinematic plot flowing like mercury poisonous yet beautiful, and yet it is about everything engendered in the human condition. Tarkovsky utilizes newsreel footage of the Great Patriotic War and places the characters in a historical context of displacement and dysfunction. Time becomes fluid as rainwater, a ubiquitous imagery that floods the narrative, seeping through the cracked reminiscence bringing both life and destruction. The film is not only a dying man’s dream, an honest illusory past but a mirror of spectatorship that actively involves the audience at an emotional and spiritual level, sublime and subjective, a participatory projection of introspection.
Tarkovsky’s clever structure becomes a surreal journey denying logical dramatic form, tripping through the looking glass and beyond the confines of cinematic compositions. An elegy that illuminates the dark night of our souls, life is always worth living. So live.
Final Grade: (A)