Audience main issue with Port of Shadows

Audience members who typically do not watch romantic films may find it hard to get into Marcel Carné’s Port of Shadows. Some of the issue that this reviewer found in the film were not of the film itself, but in the way this particular copy was preserved. However, the reviewer has taken into consideration that the technology in persevering film has improved over the years, and that the restoration process itself is a difficult lengthy task.   The first main issue with Port of Shadows was that the film is literally so dark, that sometimes it was difficult to tell what was going on in a scene or who was in the scene. Another annoyance of this film was the out of sync English subtitles. Though the subtitles were incorporated into the film, there were several occasions where the subtitles would disappear and, as a non-speaking French audience member, it felt as if some important dialogue was missed taking away from the film itself.  One of the most confusing plot elements of Port of Shadows is the relationship between Zabel and Lucien. There are hints that Zabel may be a “father” figure to Luicen and other times where it seemed as if they barely knew each other. What’s the connection? That they both are romantically interested in Nelly?  As a member of the audience who doesn’t typically watch this genre of film, the story of Port of Shadows was rather dull and predictable. (Of course, it doesn’t help to know in advance that the film is also considered a fatalistic film.)  As far as the score of Port of Shadows is concerned, it felt as if only one song (presumably the theme to the film) was played throughout. Though this song attempts to help set the melodramatic stage, it seemed like it was overused to elaborate on a theme that didn’t need the further elaboration.     Overall, this reviewer was not impressed with Marcel Carné’s Port of Shadows.