An elegy for the taming of a way of life. Martin's devotion to his land is both fused and stands in conflict to the impossible love he holds with Teresa; his adherence to both catalyzing his demise. The camera lingers to highlight the beauty of a moment, expressing a tragic finality at every step. Time freezes and moves at Tourneur's will, every movement full of life, a brick in the profound journey he crafted.
A film as much about identity as it is one about love or freedom. The identity of a way of life, a past soon to be forged into a new one. And the personal identity of a man who, through his destructive ways, suddenly feels the weight of his beloved land and the loss/suffering of his loved ones because of his adherence to the old macho way. Life closes in on him and Tourneur gives him the freedom to go his OWN way.
4.5 What a beautiful film! Tourneur once again stresses the fairytale elements of the story he tells. The sentimentality is cautiously shut down, the ambiguity of the main character is enhanced (by Hollywood standards of the time, that is).