Kaspar Hauser lives locked in a cellar, where he cannot see or speak to anyone. One day, a mysterious man pulls him out, teaches him to walk and talk, and then leaves him in the middle of a town square with a letter in his hand addressed to the authorities. Kaspar’s journey begins…
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Being a con-man is not interesting enough, so Herzog transforms Kaspar into an innocent telling the truth. It allows him to take his life and draw different conclusions. Part of it is in the original title "Every Man for Himself and God Against All". Herzog's casting choice is inspired, as he seems to find madmen everywhere he looks.
The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser is a strange and beautiful film that displays Werner Herzog's personal sense of detachment from the mores of "civilized" society. Bruno S. completely submits himself to the role, and the color palette really comes to life if you get a chance to see a quality 35mm print.
****1/2 . Werner Herzog, in a few scenes, manages to recreate the romantic Germany of Goethe, Eichendorff or the brothers Grimm. This is what we may call visionary cinema. The performance of Bruno S. is also incredible. Almost a masterpiece.
Self-important. Further, it promotes lyricism as an alternative to rationalism. Sure, it doesn't make a lick of sense that someone could live in an unmoving position for seventeen, but if it's all set to Mozart and noble savage sensibilities then...forget it?