Kafka (1991)

Steven Soderbergh’s masterpiece is rich with stunning visuals and euphonious audios. Jeremy Irons is great as Kafka. He’s a wonderful actor with a charming personality and suave manners. Despite being a film from 90s it has been kept black and white which gives the atmosphere a melancholic tone. It reminds you of many surrealistic conspiracy films but by many accounts Brazil (1985) seems to be the strongest influence. 

There’s certain amount of comedy but it’s mostly a conspiracy thriller. It gives you feeling as if you’re reading a novel–a very vivid novel. The Kafkaesque universe is nightmarish as he himself says in one of the scenes–“I write nightmares…” The dialogue in this film is very well written. The cinematography is almost perfect but it seems that there’s a lack of proper development of characters other than the lead Kafka. The film is loosely based on “The Castle,” a Franz Kafka novel in which a character K. tries to access a mysterious society which runs the village in a strange way for unknown reasons. As Kafka requests his friend in the film to burn his work after his demise, Kafka did request his friend to burn all his manuscripts before dying in real life but his friend didn’t do that and his work got published. Kafka died before completing The Castle. Similar to the lead in the film who starts coughing blood in the end he acquired tuberclosis which caused his death. I feel this strange surreal mystery is one of my favorite films.

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