The Keep (M. Mann, 1983)

The Keep (Michael Mann, 1983)

Fascinating, simply fascinating. There’s some sort of fantasy genre masterpiece hidden in here, if only this were what it should have been. Running at just over an hour and a half, there are large chunks of this film that are extremely underdeveloped and rushed. Rumor has it, tough, that Mann’s director’s cut ran closer to three hours – this is a version I’d like to see (if it were available). The mood, tone, and atmosphere created by the lingering cinematography and beautiful synch pop soundtrack are amazing. The story, which is actually interesting, sort of stays in the background and is never fully fleshed out. What I think Mann was going for was focus on the film’s central romantic relationship, but even that has extremely limited and rushed screentime in this final product. If my presumptions are correct, having the plot take a backseat to a the poetic beginnings of this relationship would have been a fine move, but as is, nothing feels complete. This film is living off its atmosphere, which is still enough to keep it above water, but it could have been so much more.  7.25/10

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