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This simply-drawn, nightmarish and often hilarious film was Polish director Walerian Borowczyk's first full-length feature and the last he would do using animation. It tells the simple story of a voyeuristic, diminutive husband and his iron-fisted wife, as they spend what appears to be a holiday in a desolate land filled with pesky butterflies and strange beasts. It is ultimately Borowczyk's idea of the mundaneness and repetitiveness of marriage, played out in a playful yet sometimes unnerving way.
Mrs. Kabal is a terrifying creation - well-endowed and dominant, speaking in a bizarre fashion that sounds like a human voice filtered through a blender. Mr. Kabal is the sympathetic one - running around like a headless chicken and obeying his wife's every need, even at one point entering her body to rid it of some unwanted butterflies. Every now and then he runs off to spy with his binoculars, always finding a semi-naked beauty much to the annoyance of an ever-present old man, who waves his fist in anger.
Not much is going on here in terms of narrative, and this causes the film to feel longer than it should be. There's only so many visual gags you can pull of with the omnipresent butterflies, who routinely fly into things and get on Mrs. Kabal's nerves. But for the most part, this is very funny stuff, and although the animation is crude, there is a surrealist quality to it all. Borowczyk would go on to make many highly-acclaimed and controversial live-action features after this, so this is a gentle introduction into the mind of the Polish auteur, and a cynical portrayal of the sanctity of marriage.
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