It can be argued that they have no way of knowing the outcome of their reactions. And indeed, nor does Chris. What differentiates Chris from the rest of the crew is the love he feels for Rheya. Love in the end is the essential force that enables him to forgive both Rheya and himself, and in the end love both redeems and kills him. This dichotomy furthers the ineffability of both death and the god force symbolized by Solaris.
Chris chooses to remain on the doomed station rather than face further life without Rheya on earth. He has no way of knowing what the outcome will be and most likely believes that he will simply die. His "redemption" is therefore not based upon faith, but rather upon the love emotion. Emotion in this case takes the place of faith in redemptive force. Furthermore, his "afterlife" entails life with his love rather than a religious god force. As such, Chris's love comes to symbolize the deepest force of contemporary humanity. Love redeems humanity from its sinful coldness and cruelty towards each other. It redeems Chris from his unforgiving and inexcusable reactions that led to Rheya's death. Furthermore, both Chris and Rheya receive a second life in their essence as beings created from their own memories. Some may argue that this is no life at all; that they are merely ghosts of their former selves. This is true, but the counter-argument might also hold: Rheya was physically dead, and Chris was emotionally so. In their afterlife, they survive on much better terms than they would have had Chris made the choice for physical life. They are happy and surrounded by their love.
3) the film therefore appears to elevate love to the level formerly occupied by religious faith. The actions and emotions behind Chris's love is what ultimately redeems both himself and Rheya. There are no scriptures or formal leaders to help Chris come to his conclusions....
The foundations of his afterlife only becomes clear once he reaches the final stages of his development. He makes a choice for love, but does so blindly. In religious faith, on the other hand, the concept of the afterlife and how to attain it are spelled out quite clearly by both scriptures and learned leaders. Indeed, there are dire warnings for those who choose to turn away from the faith recommended. Heaven is also drawn quite clearly in terms of golden streets, harp-wielding angels, or virgins, according to the respective faith involved. Chris does not have this luxury.
Solaris" offers humanity a new type of religion; a religion based upon love. Love is the ultimate ineffable force; it is the source of life, but also the source of death when intruded upon by rage, fear and pain, for which there is no forgiveness. Personally, I believe that the film makes a valid point in terms of contemporary humanity. Faith is no longer enough to redeem human beings. Indeed, it all too often appears to offer reasons for even more murder, hatred and a lack of forgiveness than ever before - despite scriptures and preachers warning that this should not be so. If love were at the basis of religion, I believe the world could have been a different place. I also admit however that this is a rather radical view of religion. Indeed, some might views such as those offered by the film as blasphemous. In the light of current events, however, I cannot abandon the view that the world needs love rather than faith as the basis of its redemption.
4) in conclusion, Chris and Rheya found redemption on the basis of the love that they shared. Even though they are ghostly phantoms of their physical selves, their afterlife is the culmination of their essential natures, independent of the pain they caused themselves and each other during their physical lives. Regardless of the mechanics and ineffability, the beauty of the film's end remains a haunting presence in the minds of the audience. It remains as a phantom of a love that the world…
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