The Red and the White (1967)

Considering the lack of noticeable plot or narrative direction,  The Red and the White (1967), succeeded at portraying a rather insightful message; ‘War’ is a mindless, brutal,  savage affair. The film was directed by Hungarian filmmaker Miklos Jancso, and starred a cast of seemingly faceless characters. Eastern European films during that specific period of time, veered more towards the eternal notion of patriotism. An individuals allegiance to their country was of vital importance to European films of that time frame, and Jancso certainly seemed to exploit those common guidelines.

Just as the film began, I realized that there would be no substantial plot or character development present. The film just seemed to depict war in its most vicious form. The two sides of battle (the Reds and the Whites), blindly battled throughout he film, with no one side achieving the upper hand.The Red and the Whites narrative direction was in fact a bit bland/ unconventional (from a Hollywood standpoint), but what really puzzled me was the absence of any attempt at successfully developing a single character in the film. I guess the director tried to depict wartime as a period of equality. No one character, or warrior, was more deserving than the other during wartime. A humans savage nature will inevitably come out during battle, therefore the director felt as if no single character was worthy of participating in character development. Characters were shown in more than one scene during the course of the movie, but that was hardly a recurring theme.

The Red and the White may not have been your ordinary military film, but it most definitely succeeded in the portraying of an effective message, as well as peaking my attention. The film was quite believable, even with, rather especially with, its grotesque nature and all. I can surely see how The Red and the White can be viewed as the masterpiece it undoubtedly is.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Film Response 03/07. Bookmark the permalink.