Sally Jane Black’s review published on Letterboxd:
There's always a sense of satisfaction when you finish a film longer than three hours. Certain experiences outside that of the film always color the appreciation of the film--quality of the print, ability to understand it, etc. In this case, I think this film loses a little potency for being apparently ripped from an airing on Italian television (I assume from a few context clues) and having some gaps in the subtitles.
It's a very laidback story for a 12 hour film, for the most part. Even the most intriguing parts have a sort of nonchalant feeling to them. There is a conspiracy, two plays, a pair of cons working independently, and slowly but surely, all of these things intersect. It's a little too much to fully digest right away (it has taken me about a week to watch this whole thing--a little more focused these last few days, hence why I haven't reviewed anything else--haven't watched anything but this).
As with any film this long, certain sequences get stretched a bit too much, especially the theatre exercises. The first one was probably the best part of the film--it was not entirely clear at that point that it was an exercise, so it had this mystique to it, and it was the most intense one, feral and wild. After that one, the others lost some of their power, since I knew what they were. Still, they were all interesting, and having the performers break down and discuss each exercise afterward made them all the more fascinating.
The intertwining plots paid off well, but because I still haven't wrapped my head around everything, I can't say I yet have that sense of closure that made other epics like Satantango and La Commune so emotionally rewarding.
Despite the occasional slow period, the sometimes confusing lack of English subtitles (or the fact that most of the English subs were atop Italian ones), and despite the lack of closure, I am glad I watched this. I'd do it again, even, especially if a better copy becomes available.