if history in art needs to make a parallel with the present then pick your poison as to what the preaching is about. it rewards you after you've watched it even if it made you hate it while you did it. still, it's a consistently wonderful exercise in cinema and that, really, is all it takes for me to love something.
The quality of this film is the overall artificial structure, resulting from staging the action on a large stage as changing tableaus with lots of references to cultural history and art. From the beginning on, the use of language in call and response structures adds a ritualistic moment that becomes more and more apparent.
To criticise a Peter Greenaway film because it is grotesque, contrived and indulgent is to miss the point. So how does one go about criticising this film. Firstly, I suppose, by saying that it is a mess and not very clever. It has none of the wit, charm and intelligence of The Cook, The Thief. Given that the plot had so much potential it seemed severely wasted on a script that makes its points glaringly obvious.
Una poesía cruel e instigadora, aunque refute que el teatro deba quedarse en el teatro el delicioso sentido mezquino de éste director me obliga a romper todos mis prejuicios estéticos y disfrutar de un sórdido cuento amarillo. Sigue sumando puntos el señor Peter.