Synopsis of “Solaris”


Solaris is a drama and scientific fiction movie from 1972 directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, and it stars Natalya Bondarchuk, Donatas Banionis, and Jüri Järvet. The film is broken up into two parts. In part one, Dr. Kris Kelvin is a psychoanalyst who is sent aboard the spacecraft stationed on Solaris to aid the crew that is experiencing ‘episodes’ that are causing depression and suicide. The scientists aboard are in states of shock that do not allow them to work on the ship and their lack of scientific findings are costing the mission more than it is generating. Kris Kelvin arrives just two hours after one of the lead scientists, Gibarian, commits suicide. The other scientists he meets aboard are in a state of shock and will not see Kris right away. Later on, Kris finds a documentary left by Gibarian explaining his suicide and warns Kris and gives him information about the planet. We find out that the entire planet is covered by water and vegetation, when probed, the planet can construe its own beings that are human-like in all aspects. One of the “Guests” is Hari, a clone of Kelvin’s deceased wife.

The second part of the film opens up with Kris preparing for departure, explaining to Hari he needs to be the last one to board the ship. Instead, Kris tries to kill her by locking her in the rocket and having it take off because he remembers that she died ten years ago. Dr. Snaut explains that they made replicas of her, and Kris would see more throughout the journey. He then hangs paper by the vents to help try to ease Kris’ panic attack by making the room feel more like home, Earth. When Dr. Snaut and Dr. Satorious want to meet with Kris, he brings along Hari where he later learns that Hari is made to constantly regenerate so no one can kill her. By this point in the movie Kris sees Hari more of a spouse rather than a scientific creation and they have feelings for each other. While Hari sleeps, Dr. Snaut pays a visit to Kris and explains that he should participate in their brain wave experiment, even though it might kill Hari because Dr. Satorious is working on something that will kill Hari anyway. Dr. Satorious explains to Hari what she was really like, in addition to Kris showing her earlier videos. In the library Dr. Snaut and Dr. Satorius have a discussion about man. Dr. Snaut says that all men need each other while Dr. Satorious believes the purpose of man is to gather knowledge. After Kris is scrutinized for only showing interest in Hari, she defends him by saying that he is the only who seems to act like a human being. After falling asleep a couple of times, Kris wakes up to Dr. Snaut boiling water with a letter saying Hari is gone because he did not want to mislead Kris anymore. Kris and Dr. Snaut have a long conversation where Snaut concludes that philosophical questions cannot be answered during one’s lifetime. The movie ends with Kris living back on Earth only to realize that his land is part of the ocean.

Solaris (1972) Trailer

Synopsis of “Solaris”

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