The problem of coming to terms with reality is the simplest explanation for this blatant, European-style art film directed by American Philip Kaufman.
Lengthily elaborated from Milan Kundera’s bestseller, it concerns a womanising surgeon (Daniel Day-Lewis) in Prague in 1968, who is enjoying a purely sexual relationship with like-minded painter Sabina (Lena Olin) until his free-spirited philosophy is challenged when he falls in love with young waitress Tereza (Juliette Binoche).
Then Soviet tanks invade Czechoslovakia . . .
Some wonderful atmospherics of a besieged culture don’t make up for the fact that, at just under three hours, it runs out of important things to say – though that doesn’t stop the movie trying to say them.
Derek De Lint