Danny’s review published on Letterboxd:
I had a hard time deciding whether to put a like on this film or not but I decided against it even though I enjoyed it. My theory is that my enjoyment of this film came more from an appreciation of the art than of the enjoyment as a piece of entertainment (although there was some of that too) but I think it requires a certain amount of both for me to really say I liked something. Now this movie is poetic, has dissolve and layering editing techniques that are much before it’s time, it employs the camera in a very fluid and dynamic way that feels very unique and special in a silent film from this era and the music fits well with the, what I would call, redemption story being told. My nitpick with the film is that it’s very light on plot and title card dialogue and the two lovers rekindle their bond over a day of events that has undoubted spectacle but that inspired more awe in me than any emotional response. The whole film kind of reminds me of the epilogue in Red Dead Redemption 2 when you just spend a full mission going on dates and shit (but I found this film way less boring than that mission). The lack of exposition did, however, allow the symbolism to flourish and objects that were intended for more morbid purposes in the first act played as heroic items by the end (the juxtaposition of the boat scene at the start and end also solidified the character arc really well). I think for something as visually appealing and poetic in nature as this is I’d have liked to see it go a little deeper on the dark themes that it shows rare glimpses of but then dives hard into the realm of sentimentality instead. But let’s be honest here this is just my personal taste speaking and even that’s admittedly nitpicking because for a film to be this fantastic when released in 1927 still makes it a complete masterwork of it’s time - I just found the pacing here and there to drop me out of the experience but when this was at its best it showcased some genuinely phenomenal moments.