28 September 2006 | tonstant viewer
A Punch to the Gut
If this movie had been made in 1923, I'd have been more blasé, but for 1916 it's nothing short of miraculous.
The open-air filming is smooth and well-executed. The emotional rawness is hit hard but never gets overheated. The acting is intense but does not stray into laughable "stagger-and-clutch." Dutiful fidelity to Ibsen's poem may cramp the subtitles, but never interferes with masterful story-telling in the film itself.
There is one sequence, in which a launch from a British warship destroys a fisherman's rowboat and then attempts to hunt down the fisherman while he's swimming for his life underwater, that is an absolute classic that will live in your memory.
This film is short, but very powerful, and worth going the extra mile to see.