Ordet (The Word) (1955)
Average Rating: 9.4/10
Reviews Counted: 20
Fresh: 20 | Rotten: 0
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Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 0
Average Rating: 4.4/5
User Ratings: 3,968
With his masterful Ordet (aka The Word, ), legendary Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer examines the conflict between internalized personal faith and organized religion. Dreyer sets the drama in a conservative, super-pious Danish town, where widower Morten Borgen (Henrik Malberg) -- the father of three boys -- cuts against the grain of the community with his constant heretical doubt. One of his sons, Mikkel Borgen (Emil Hass Christensen), is entangled in an interfaith romance with a
Jan 1, 1954 Wide
Sep 8, 2008
Emil Hass Christensen
Anne Elisabeth Andersen
Inger Mikkel's Wife
Both emotionally and intellectually the picture is hypnotic, and some portions will nail the spectator to his seat.
A strange, wondrous and shocking work. Once seen, it's unlikely to leave you.
With arresting faces but not cluttered with close-ups, attention-getting camera abilities beyond judicious lighting, or mood music, the film builds to a long emotional finale of biblical parallel.
Dreyer's Ordet (1955) is far simpler than his previous films, taking place mostly in a single set, but also more complex.
There are only 114 shots, each averaging over a minute, only three close-ups, and the film demands and rewards the closest attention.
At first glance it may seem slow, but stick with it and the psychological tensions enthral.
Tragedy strikes, and petty denominational squabbles disintegrate in Dreyer's sublime synthesis of humanistic and textual faith, a vision of purity and clarity.
This is an overwhelming emotional and intellectual experience, thanks both to its subject matter and its austere yet potent presentation.
Dreyer is digging deeper than these slogans ["institutional religion" versus "personalized faith"], to the regions of mystery where Johannes's mind was lost.
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