1947 / 101m - UK
Black Narcissus poster


August 16, 2021


Black Narcissus is revered for its Technicolor visuals, personally I can't stand the shrill, cold, somewhat lifeless color scheme. I really like bold, colorful films, but Technicolor just doesn't do it for me. Neither did the painted backgrounds by the way, they looked cheesy and borderline ridiculous.

The film follows a nunnery built in the Himalayas, where the Brits are hoping to educate the local people. A lovely setting, but the harsh living conditions in the mountains are starting to get to the nuns. What starts as the usual irritation and envy slowly escalates into a much darker conflict.

I didn't care for the visuals, but that wasn't the only problem. The performances are very weak and exaggerated, the soundtrack is pure kitsch, the characters are very one-dimensional, and the plot is slow and basic. I've seen a couple of Powell and Pressburger films now, none of them left a solid impact. Black Narcissus could be the most memorable of the bunch, but only because of the ugly colors.