Not really a very good film more than it is an incredible idea presented in a unique way. Caligari created an iconic aesthetic, especially with it's cinematography, subject matter, makeup, and production design. This however is grossly overshadowed by how much better Caligari's imitators utilized that aesthetic. It's not very well paced, and the story isn't exactly engaging.
It's no surprise why this movie is an absolute classic and one of the greatest (if not the greatest) examples of German expressionist film. Its gorgeous look and twisted story fit perfectly, and you're in for a treat. I had the pleasure of watching this with a live piano score, and it certainly adds a lot to the experience.
La mente y la distorsión. El insomnio, por ejemplo, es la distorsión misma de la realidad espacio temporal. Los pensamientos revolotean y flotan libremente, todo es permitido y, simultáneamente, parece que explotamos cognitiva, físicamente. No hay realidad, estamos fuera, alejados, con nuestra soledad mental insoportable e ineludible. El "gabinete" es eso: la liberación, la posibilidad de (no)creación, el caos...
Emblematic among the Expressionist genre, it portrays society full of befouled sentiments, fears with a still unsettling suspension of reality and fantasy. With sinister vindictiveness against normality, Caligari (the character and the film) remains a paradox; a paradox orchestrated in the angular sets and the crooked paths in a symphony of nightmarish hierarchy and megalomania of authority. A hypnotic masterpiece.
Lynch before Lynch; an obvious influence on films like Lost Highway & Mulholland Drive, where the shame of a crime is deconstructed & put back together again; allowing a character to see it through someone else's eyes. The set-design is rightly celebrated, presenting a world distorted by its narrator's warped psyche, clueing us in to the artificiality of his recollection, but it's also a film full of tremendous pain.