31 July 2010 | deschreiber
let's trying judging it without its classical heritage
Most people who watch this film will be doing it in order to see an example of a classic Greek tragedy. They will be satisfied. It is dignified, stately, and absolutely dripping with fate, destiny, and tragedy.
But what if you are more like an average movie-goer? Does it hold up under more normal criteria? I think it does to some extent, but not particularly well. The plot is started at the very beginning of the opening scene as Antigone expresses her determination to bury her dead brother, and everything else follows inevitably - the entire story is plot-driven. It's a rather simple plot, but it does carry you along. I'm not sure there's a lot more that's really compelling about the film. It's pretty stagey, with actors and extras forming nice patterns, as if lining up with chalk lines on the floor. Although there are a number of small processions and such, this is not a costume epic with a cast of thousands and crane shots filling the screen with colourful eye candy. It's filmed in black and white. Is the acting good? Sure, but bear in mind that the range of emotions is quite limited, and characters pretty much talk in set speeches. They do imbue their dignified speeches with the correct emotions and make them sound sincere.
But, to be honest, I don't think you would recommend this film to anyone unless they had a pre-existing interest in classical Greek drama.