Had I done research before I watched this one, I would have enjoyed it a little more.
Honestly, when I think “Odyssey” I think of Homer’s classic works. They are not related to this film at all. Here we have the story of advanced intelligence and its influence on the progression of man from ape to human to space being.
There is little dialogue in the film. Most of what happens is told through the pictures and music. Shots are long. There is never a feeling of rush. Urgency, perhaps, when the men on the spaceship are discussing the fate of HAL, but never rush. This is what makes it a psychological thriller. Not only is everything drawn out to give you time to overthink situations, but so little is explained. First, this happens. Then, something else happens. All slow. All deliberate. Most of it silently.
(When does the movie start? Where did that come from? Does this have to do with the monolith? Or maybe not? Where are they now? Where did this ship come from? What’s with these colors? Why didn’t they have the budget for a different picture? Do they have to use the same three over and over? Why can he only see his future self? What’s with the baby? What happened to the apes? Is this Jupiter? Where did the pod go? Is HAL really out of service now? Why is there gravity here, not there? What’s with the music? Whoa, where did THAT come from?)
This movie is about the exploration of the unfathomable. You have to ask questions. You know less than anyone in the film. You are the alien, the foreigner. You are shown what you need to see. Often one wants to see more than he needs, which is indulged by our culture. This story avoids that.
If you like to understand everything, have a clear storyline, appreciate action (at Earth-speed, at least, for crying out loud) and want dialogue, this film is not for you. If you are ready to be confused and bewildered and filled with wonder and contemplation and are fine with an hour and a half or so of near silence, give it a try.