Nails the dicey line between verite technique and visual incoherence; Holland achieves genuine naturalistic power with the camera, yet the film is immaculately composed. From its painterly light to its refreshing lack of didactic dialogue (so common to tip-toeing historical dramas) the film is complex but didn't quite hit emotionally. Not a big knock - easily could be on me.
Brutal and dark, yet sublime, this film was unusual from start to finish. A great deal of the film is spent with minimal light, the faces of characters barely lit by small hand lanterns and streaks of light pouring into the sewers - although frustrating at times, this made the above-ground scenes of winter war feel even colder and harsher than before. "In Darkness" was a highly gripping (and stressful) viewing.
Holland made one of the best and most important Holocaust films back in '92 (Europa Europa) and though this is a very different tale it lacks in comparison. Yes, its an important story in charting the survival of Polish Jews in the sewer system during the Nazi occupation yet the film still seems to lack the ability to truly engage. Interesting choice to show both positive and negative human attributes.