The “stars” of the film, Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood, are not stars at all, so the special-effects are the most commanding presence. Chief among them is the sinister, lisping machine known only as HAL, voiced by Douglas Rain. As for the plot, there is a skimpy one, but it’s not very important. This is a film to experience, not as a story, but for its remarkable visuals and music score (one of the first to utilize previously recorded music, composed by the likes of Beethoven and Strauss).
2001 doesn't really seem to be “about” anything, which means the viewer is free to interpret it in any way he likes, in which case it could be the most meaningful or most pointless film ever made. It is justifiably a landmark in cinema, one that will leave you inspired, bewildered, or both.
© 1994 Brian W. Fairbanks