Sunday, 15 May 2016

''The Passion of Joan of Arc'' (1927 film)- Review

Directed by: Carl Theodor Dreyer 
Released: 1928
Country: France

Genre: Historical drama

Rating: 5 out of 5


At the very beginning of the film, one of the judges ask Joan how old she is. Her face reflecting a childlike innocent, she counts and replies that she is nineteen. That was the scene that instantly made me attached to the film, and throughout the film I kept observing each and every movement, each and every facial expression of Renee Jeanne Falconetti. This has to be one of the most profoundly breathtaking performances I have personally ever come across. Her facial expressions and reactions express her sorrows, her fears, her shock, her discovery when she comes across the form of cruelty she had never known existed. This is definitely a heart wrenching film to sit through, and add Falconetti's strong performance (read: one of the strongest performances ever), ''The Passion of Joan of Arc'' is a unforgettable gem.

The story is simple: the trial of Joan of Arc and her subsequent execution. But each and every minute of the film is utilized well as we come to learn of the horrors that were inflicted on the brave Joan of Arc. A brave young woman who had wanted to save her country, she was burnt at stake, accused of heresy. Over the passage of time the film gets more and and more intense, and we keep looking at Falconetti's face, her pained face reflecting her woes. 

''The Passion of Joan of Arc'' symbolizes how humanity has been over the course of history deteriorated and crumbled, how cruelty has been inflicted on people as innocent and brave as Joan of Arc. And I am sure without Falconetti's performance, the film would not have been as iconic and great as it is. She graces the scenes of the film with her presence, her astonishingly perfect performance, her face and expressions showing her woes and pain, her tears sometimes even managing to bring tears to our eyes. 

5 out of 5 

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