2001: A Space Odyssey


2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic British-American science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay was written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, and was inspired by Clarke’s 1951 short story “The Sentinel” and other short stories by Clarke.

2001: A Space Odessey is one of the fundamentals of Sci-fi. Definitely that its honor is well deserve. Not only it has some incredible effects for its time. But the way the story starts, how it uses it’s dialogues, silence and music to convey it’s message is superb. This is one journey that everyone, not matter where they come from, should embark in.

The fascinating thing about this film is that it fails on the human level but succeeds on a cosmic scale. Kubrick’s universe, and the space ships he constructed to explore it, are simply out of scale with human concerns. This is the work of an artist so sublimely confident. He doesn’t include a single shot simply to keep our attention. Reduces each scene to its essence. He leaves it on screen long enough for us to contemplate it, to inhabit it in our imaginations.


Some movies get acclaim in their time, but then years later they do not seem so great. For the first hour while re watching the film also, particularly the moon base sequences, you will definitely wonder; this is its awe.  If anything, it gets better on repeat viewings, with more to pick up. 2001 is full of exemplary pioneering spirit and does deserve to be called one of the all-time greats.

The film did not provide the clear narrative and easy entertainment cues the audience expected. The closing sequences, with the astronaut inexplicably finding himself in a bedroom somewhere beyond Jupiter, were baffling. The overnight Hollywood judgment was that Kubrick had become derailed. That in his obsession with effects and set pieces, he had failed to make a movie. What he had actually done was make a philosophical statement about man’s place in the universe. That too using images as those before him had used words, music or prayer.


2001 is an attempt to cover four million years of human evolution. Eventually it takes its premise the fact that some form of alien life has been directing the growth of human intelligence. The movie opens with a sequence titled “Dawn of Man.” Primitive man-apes struggle to survive in the vast African savannah. A rectangular black monolith mysteriously appears concurrent with the apes’ discovery. That too the bones of dead animals can be use as weapons to vanquish rival groups for domination of resources. In what has become a famous transition, one of the creatures powerfully hurls the bone-weapon into the air. In fact the image transforms into one of a craft voyaging through space.

Now, millions of years later, at the dawn of the 21st century, Dr. Heywood Floyd (William Sylvester) is charged with traveling to the Moon’s Clavius Base. Where scientists have unearthed another monolith, which was deliberately bury forty feet beneath the lunar surface. A mission is eventually dispatch to Jupiter. Awake on board the spacecraft are Dr. David Bowman (Keir Dullea) and Dr. Frank Poole (Gary Lockwood).

2001: A Space Odyssey

At Jupiter, Bowman finds a third, much larger, monolith orbiting the planet. He leaves Discovery in an EVA pod to investigate, but is pull into a vortex of coloured light. Bowman is carry across vast distances of space, while viewing bizarre cosmological phenomena and strange landscapes of unusual colours. Eventually he finds himself in large neoclassical bedroom where he sees, and then becomes, older versions of himself. First standing in the bedroom, middle-aged and still in his spacesuit. Then dressed in leisure attire and eating dinner, and finally as an old man lying on a bed. A monolith appears at the foot of the bed. As Bowman reaches for it, he is transform into a foetus enclosed in a transparent orb of light. The light which floats in space beside the Earth.

It’s always hard to achieve something. To capture people. To entertain people. But Stanley Kubrick always managed to do that with his movies.  In short his is an amazing movie. You are constantly wondering about what’s happening on the screen and your mind is constantly working at full speed. You are drive through many different decades. For every decade we go through, we achieve a little more knowledge about how our species are evolving. This is by far the most technically advance movie that Kubrick has ever made.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings