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The movie is clearly a product of the 70s, when directors were still trying to figure out how to film and edit different types of stories. What this results in is a movie that is too long, and too slow. Even a work of philosophy can pick up its pace occasionally.
HAVING SAID THAT, the movie is still worth watching once. The mere fact this kind of story was ATTEMPTED, even if not fully getting there, in the 70s, warrants a watch. The acting is mostly fine, really. They cast behaves exactly like people trapped on a space station for years, which would appear "unengaging" to most people, which is unfortunate. That is ON THE STATION. Outside of it, when you see people on Earth, yes, half of them should have been more active. Perhaps growing up in the Soviet Union does that to you? We will never know...
Maybe someone can produce a sub-2 hour cut, and make the movie more watchable.
P.S. When the protagonists wax philosophical, they commit the sin of not really arriving anywhere. They get close, but not close enough. Could have gotten closer, even if getting it wrong.
Almost three incredibly dull hours, throughout which a tiny cast desperately tries to create something resembling an engaging plot without so much as a moving soundtrack and, worst of all, apparently trying to see whether or not Status Quo Is God works in film as well as sitcoms. It does not. Essentially, the plot just keeps repeating itself before concluding in what would have been a Downer Ending had it not been for the film being so dull it has Eight Deadly Words written all over it.
Whatever it was that Roger Ebert saw in this awful, awful time-waster, I did not see it.
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