The Unbearable Lightness of Being


D: Philip Kaufman

Orion (Saul Zaentz, Paul Zaentz & Bertil Ohlsson)

USA 1988

171 mins


W: Philip Kaufman & Jean-Claude Carrìere [based on the novel by Milan Kundera]

DP: Sven Nykvist

Ed: Walter Murch

Mus: Mark Adler

Daniel Day-Lewis (Tomas), Juliette Binoche (Tereza), Lena Olin (Sabina), Derek de Lint (Franz)

I understand that the book this adaptation is based on was a critically-acclaimed bestseller, and perhaps one day I might read it, but this film is just a load of tits and bums, to be incredibly frank.

Set during the Prague Spring of 1968, Daniel Day-Lewis stars as Tomas, a surgeon who embarks on  love affair with two women, one a bohemian free spirit with the same sexual appetites as him, and the other, a coy artist with a more conservative view of their relationship.

Their relationship is affected by a Soviet invasion, bringing about it the Warsaw Pact and communist oppression, which, quite disappointingly happens in the background, without really offering any knowledge for anyone who isn't read up on it.

Personally, I'd rather watch something on the same subject with more political mechanics, and if I wanted to watch three people fucking, I can always visit some adult websites... it's all quite pretty, and probably did as good a job it could with adapting a novel with such adult themes, but it glosses over the important stuff and still feels an hour too long.


The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Unbearable Lightness of Being