kyle k.’s review published on Letterboxd:
It feels impossible to conjure the words that express my feelings about this behemoth. There are striking moments in this that made me feel I was seeing the pinnacle of cinema, but there were many other moments where I struggled to connect with it. The first shot will remain one of my all time favorites.
If your near 7 and a half hour film is paced well enough then I can ride with it to the end, but I don't think this film is paced well enough and I feel it would make a masterpiece around 3-4 hours.
My other issue with this film that is entirely subjective to me and that I could not overcome was the animal cruelty scene which lasts for what feels like a half an hour. Feel free to stop reading here, but this felt too personal and I had to get my thoughts out.
2 months ago I lost my cat Hanzo. I had him since he could fit in my hand and he was my best friend for 5 years and often times felt like the only family I had. Cats are intelligent and kind animals, I don't know what my life would have been without him and there are many times to this day that I don't know how I'm supposed to carry on without him.
There is a grueling scene of the torture of a cat that made my skin crawl and nearly drove me to tears in rage and sadness towards the filmmakers. There is nothing that could justify how a real cat is treated in this film. I don't care what masterpiece you feel you're making or how you feel this serves it, bottom line is that it's unacceptable to me. There are ways of filming around it.
Edit: did some research on the cat scene and I feel a bit better. It was a scene that was rehearsed many times so the cat would be more comfortable. This being said, the cat isn't comfortable and shows many signs of fear and anxiety. I may just be overly sensitive to this kind of stuff.