The acting isn’t bad, with Jean Sorel putting in a good turn as the handsome protagonist. As a real, legitimate actor it’s kind of a shame that he lies comatose for about 1/3 of his performance, but what can you do? Barbara Bach fares fine as the love interest, but she’s more a pretty MacGuffin for driving the plot than a real person. Gregory’s friend and investigative ally, Jacques (Mario Adorf), is difficult to take seriously with his white-suit-over-magenta-shirt and dubbed voice with an accent that can’t make up its mind between German, Irish or English.
Some visual elements that stick out in memory are the POV shots that appear throughout the film, staring up at the ceiling into the faces of doctors or the spinning crystals of chandeliers. Another scene (shown in a previous screenshot) takes place with the nourish lighting of window blinds taken to the ultimate extreme. Eloquently long shots and glutinous pans over the Prague cityscape do help pass the time, although this could just be my bias towards all things Czech. Ennio Morricone’s soundtrack is also there to stir the mood, but this isn’t his best work.
Walrus Rating: 6.0
(An impressive directorial debut that many will probably think better of. While definitely worth seeing, it is just as certainly second tier.)