(Review originally written at 23 June 2008)

Well, I'm sorry but no matter how much I expected myself to like this movie, I just didn't. No it's of course not like this is the worst movie I have ever seen but I was shocked at how poorly this movie actually was constructed.

Problem is that the movie feels way too messy, especially with its fantasy elements thrown into the story. Quite frankly the movie simply featured some poor storytelling and this movie is simply not how a fantasy movie should be like. The movie tries hard to create a magical kind of atmosphere but instead the fantasy elements often feel awkward and way too sudden. Sometimes it doesn't even serve a purpose for the movie it's story. It's just not a movie that could grab me. The storytelling is too messy and certain story elements seem very random and don't really blend in with the rest of the movie. The characters are confusing as well. Perhaps it would had helped if the movie was closer to 3 hours long, rather than it's now almost 2 hours of running time.

From a movie with a fantasy story such as this, also some more entertainment was to be expected. The movie only mildly entertains throughout but the movie just never becomes an awful lot of fun to watch, due to its story or fantasy elements.

But it needs to be said that for a 1943 movie this is simply a great looking one. It used some unique coloring techniques, Agfacolor, which German film-makers used between 1939 and 1945. It gives the movie an unique, very bright looking style. But also the sets and costumes are fine looking, though obviously deliberately fake looking as well at times.

A movie that tries really very hard but in the end just isn't good and entertaining enough.


About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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