ruinmysleep’s review published on Letterboxd:
This is such a frustrating movie because it is an incomplete viewing experience the first time you watch it. Guadagnino and Kajganich deliberately keep the audience on the outside, with nothing but a few scattered clues to hold onto related to motivation or theme. The film as a whole only feels like a complete text when viewed through the lens of the epilogue. I stand by my initial lack of review and rating.
I feel that while the themes of German history loom large and terrible in this film and really do move me, not enough attention is paid to structure, in spite of the act breaks, which seem artificial for the most part.
The cinematography and choreography are dazzling, particularly in that *one* scene, and given rich thematics like gender and ritual and the cycles of history, for all its structural faults and quick takes that don’t add much, I still rate this film four stars. But don’t go into it expecting to love it the first time.