In this drama, a misshapen sailor with the features of a lizard is tormented all his life for his deformities. When he and others are marooned on an island the tables are turned and he rules them with a ruthless hand.
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myth and realism married with unparalleled ease: it's as timeless a film as I've ever seen, yet remains steadfastly tied to place, the sea, the rocks, the weight of chains, a fire on the beach at night. Hellman recounts an elusive fable poetically, with forays into Baroque chiaroscuro. stigmatized masculinity unleashed reveals itself to be in fact traumatized beyond understanding. an incredible, haunting treasure.
Tries to surmount the insurmountable problem of its innately silly Frankenstein-in-the-Mediterranean scenario, but literary references only underscore its muddled middlebrow mentality, its hopeless mission to make thought-provoking Art from what should have aspired to be nothing more grandiose than a fairly good kids' movie in the Stevenson mold. Begs to be played for comedy, but stubbornly remains a solemn ass.