The opening scenes are incredibly drab, filmed in sepia tone, as some characters engage in uninteresting conversations in a gray, depressing, and filthy city. After a while, the characters escape to a forbidden place known as the Zone, which is in color (like Oz) and has trees, flowers, and flowing streams. While the change in scenery is welcome, the characters continue to blabber on and on and on, sprouting boring and pointless philosophy. Tarkovsky has to be one of the most self-indulgent directors ever. It's torture having to sit through this heavy-handed and depressing film, especially at a length of nearly three hours. Put a restraining order on this stalker.