Black Narcissus review (1947)
The story starts off with a group of Nuns that was going to change an old buildings on the edge of the cliff into a new church where they plan to teach can children what to believe in. There they meet Mr. Dean, a dashingly handsome, cocky man who knows what there is to know about this exotic location and he helps guide the nuns into understanding their ways. During that time one of the sisters was ill and becomes completely obsessed with Mr. Dean, which caused her to become jealous and insane that she discarded her vowels and tries to kill one of the sisters which ultimately was her undoing…
The film is brilliantly when it comes down to original ideas and story. I haven’t seen a movie quite like this and I doubt many have either. The settings is lovely and the view is beautiful to look at. The pacing is done brilliantly, which allows uneasy tension to present itself from the audience slowly as the movie progress. The film also gains an extra points for brilliant camera techniques. Like high angle, bird’s eyes view and long shots to establish the layout of the locations.
Even though that this is a great film it hurts to admit that it does suffers a few major problems. Thanks to the nuns only wearing the white robe it becomes difficult to tell which one is which, you only have their faces to see and even then it’s quite difficult to tell the nuns apart and it is important to understand the characters. There is also the problem of too much fade to black which can feel more like the scene gave up on itself, which is a shame. It feels as though that the movie is saying “Hello, here is the story… oh five minutes are up, on to something else” or that a feeling that the ending credits will pop up and you are there sitting thinking “is… is that it? Oh nope still going.” It’s a filming technique that would work effectively if it happens a few times but they use it more times than the Star Wars prequels using wipes to change locations. Also the sound is hard to hear especially when the characters yell at each other. When you listen to the film it sounds ok but then you get this sudden burst of noise from the characters that you can’t hear what they was yelling about.
Overall this movie gets 6.9/10. It a good movie but far from being perfect. The characters are indeed a problem. Not that there is anything wrong with them or their acting, it’s just that it can be difficult to tell the nuns apart. The soundtrack doesn’t standout for me and that there is a few sexual points that is presented on screen in a hidden message, which does help the build-up in the story as well as the change of the characters and what they have to go though. Sister Ruth is the one that under goes a transformation and you can clearly see that as she removes her pure white robes for the sexy bold red dress which can mean that she is possessed by the devil and his power of lust. The settings as I’ve mentioned before are lovely and beautiful, especially the iconic bell area. I would personally recommend something else as I doubt this film would appeal to everyone however it is worth noting that you’ll won’t find another film quite like this one and it deserves to be viewed.