In search of help, two wounded gangsters on the run find refuge in the secluded castle of a feeble man and his wife; however, under the point of a gun, nothing is what it seems.In search of help, two wounded gangsters on the run find refuge in the secluded castle of a feeble man and his wife; however, under the point of a gun, nothing is what it seems.In search of help, two wounded gangsters on the run find refuge in the secluded castle of a feeble man and his wife; however, under the point of a gun, nothing is what it seems.
A couple of Polanski's early films, Repulsion and The Tenant, are already two of my favorite films of all time, so it's no shocker that I loved this as much as I did, but the level of comedy to it was almost unexpected. To me, this movie is primarily a comedy, through and through. I see a lot of mediocre reviews claiming that the comedy was too prominent, which took away from the dread a film would generally attain amidst an effective thriller, however, if you don't view the movie as a thriller, you won't find yourself disappointed...
I was cracking up through the majority of the film. It just gets funnier and funnier as it goes. All 3 lead actors and their respective characters are an absolute riot, each offering their own twist of madness to the group, and they only get more interesting and more amusing as the film progresses. There are a few sequences in which I felt a bit of concern and/or shock as one would with a drama or thriller, but otherwise I simply got off on the wild performances, conversations, and moments throughout. Finally, I understand why Donald Pleasance is a notable actor - what a legendary character and performance he gives here. I also had no idea Catherine Deneuve had an older sister (who apparently died in a car accident soon after making this, her last movie) - she is nearly as intoxicating as her legendary sister, and the rugged Lionel Stander made an epic first impression on me - he's almost like a cartoon character, consistently. You can't take him super seriously as a "villain" but to me that was the point. You put these 3 in a blender and they still won't blend... it's perfect.
On top of all that, the setting and the cinematography is gorgeous. I love the pace of the whole thing. It's long enough that you can get lost in it, and feel like you're stranded there with them. It's just right. The most special part is really just how unique this movie is - the specific combination of everything - I've never seen anything like it. Fully enjoyable and I would absolutely say a CLASSIC and a MUST-SEE as far as Polanski goes. Wonderful!
- Feb 13, 2020