Kafka, an insurance worker gets embroiled in an underground group after a co-worker is murdered. The underground group is responsible for bombings all over town, attempting to thwart a secret organization that controls the major events in society. He eventually penetrates the secret organization and must confront them.Written by
Ed Sutton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Jeremy Irons does not exactly play Franz Kafka in this movie. He plays a man named Kafka, who (like Franz Kafka) works in an insurance firm, and has an unsuccessful writing career, and an estrangement from his father, to whom he writes a long letter. However, no first name is ever given for this character, nor is it ever stated that the action takes place in Franz Kafka's home city of Prague, although various landmarks are shown. Furthermore, various biographical details are incorrect. Kafka is said to have been twice engaged to a woman named Anna, whereas Franz Kafka's fiancée (whom he never married) was called Felice Bauer, and he also mentions to a friend that he is, in 1919, working on a story about a man who is changed into a gigantic beetle, when Franz Kafka's famous story "Metamorphosis" was actually published in 1914, one of the few works of his to be published in his lifetime. See more »
Some see this film as a step down from Steven Soderbergh's brilliantly-constructed debut feature, "sex, lies and videotape." I see it as a significant step in his artistic development (even if its commercial and critical failure limited the audiences for his next several films). Certainly no one expected him to follow the low-key, character-driven "sex, lies" with such a complicated, stylized film as "Kafka."
An inspired script by Lem Dobbs and a great cast drive Soderbergh's visually rich film. Besides the leads, of note are Joel Grey as the self-important bureaucrat Burgel, Brian Glover as the menacing Castle Henchman, and Keith Allen and Simon McBurney as Kafka's side-splittingly incompetent "assistants." And Cliff Martinez's score (inspired by "The Third Man") is ingenious.
To call this film underrated would be a severe understatement.
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