When I went to Oslo film school we learned how to build up a classic story. Solaris does not fit in this picture as it is in many ways made in a artistic and poetic way. The movie is so beautiful and ugly at the same time. In fact the contrast (as well as all shades between) between nature (beauty) and synthetic (ugly) is a major component of this movie. It is hard as a viewer to know what is going on as we are not always told directly how the story is unfolding. The dialogue is mystic, cold and sometimes quite confusing. However every scene tells us its story through all the elements shown. This are required to watch every little detail.
The cut is most of the time slow and dreamy, but this is not the rule as it becomes quick when needed. In fact it is so well done that you are often amazed. Very few movies dare to lay out such a tempo that requires all the viewers’ skills.
The main theme is not new. It is about human and what is the difference between a human and a made man. In many movies this is shown by using robots or droids. In this case it is a almost perfect human replica. This theme seems to be forever returning because it is important for people. Combined with this there is a unusual strong love story here, as it should be to put the main theme on its ultimate trial.
To sum it up this is a classic that everybody should take the time to see. Just make sure you are up to it!