Figures in a Landscape
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Time Out saysA misguided adaptation of Barry England's excellent novel about two Englishmen on the run from an unspecified prison camp in the Far East (Burma, Korea, Vietnam, take your pick). Re-located in Europe, with Robert Shaw's script still harping insistently on their nationality, one is left wondering bemusedly what military authority two evidently apolitical Englishmen can be running from in fear of instant annihilation. A Kafka nightmare of totalitarianism seems to be the answer, alas. But if you can forget the pretensions and the clumsy characterisations, Losey's direction is a dazzling example of pure mise en scène, with every shot perfectly calculated to frame the theme of two figures caged in a landscape. The sequences in which they are stalked by a helicopter playing cat-and-mouse are good enough to suspend disbelief in the game.