Men as a species don't come off so well in this film. The dog was good. Great slo-mo shot of her running away from the hanged man in the dream sequence. The title cards were quite witty--were the French originals were like that before translation? Loved the phrase "vague vegetables." Great setting on the canal. In New Jersey it's peaceful to walk the remaining towpaths for the Morris Canal. Definitely a slower era.
The film feels old, which for many films of this era can be excused. But the way in which this film feels old is that has reached the point of feeling cliched, too much of its affectations have seeped into the pop culture portrayal of films of this time. So though it may have been brilliantly formed, as Renoir is want to do, the film feels inescapably dry. It does not stand up well to the test of time.
The dream sequence was excellent, as was some other visuals throughout. My only critique would be the story is a bit weak and some of the actors aren't up to par. Renoir was still getting his feet wet, but we are treated here to an early glimpse into the mind of a master. Must see silent cinema, if not one of the most impressive in the era. 3 stars
Renoir’s “Whirlpool of Fate’s” predates Cocteau by ten or so years. Watch the nightmare sequence and see the same movement, above the girl and across a wall, it was like watching Orpheus on his way to the underworld, but without pretension, more of accent you are not drawn to, so ahead of its time. If a CGI film loses its charm after CGI changes, this film is almost a hundred. It loses nothing by time’s passage.