Why the film missed for me

The answer was disclosed in the director interview on the DVD.

Both my wife and I, who love foreign, complex and dark films, felt that it didn't work. The director in the segment on the DVD described how he was taken by the novel, but he tried to recreate it with almost no dialog. A short novel has 50,000 words, background, flashback, dialog and scene setting. All films must be condensed, but this one had virtually no character development, so all we had was cryptic emotion.

We noticed that the the Wife often seemed on the verge of laughing, with a glint in her eye that didn't fit he scene or the character. Well, now this explains it. They were often joking, hysterical, right up to the time they called "Action."

Sorry, this wasn't art, it was the Director being indulgent, The first rule of any film is to tell the story, give some background, create some dramatic tension. Maybe those who enjoyed it were the Director's audience, but it sure didn't work for us.


Given the content of the film, I love the irony of your first sentence. By the way I really liked the film - the minimalist dialogue, the chiaroscuro lighting (especially in the final scene) and the glimpses into an otherwise blissful family life. How readily we sour what we have.