Time Out says
Did Nicolas Roeg have a hand in directing Petulia? He's credited as the cinematographer, and the visual style is unmistakably his, but the film's 'Roegian' currents run deeper than that. There's the splintered narrative, full of cuts back and forward through time. There's the structure based on visual 'rhymes' and other correspondences. There's the mixture of muted melodrama and neurotic psychology. There's even a 'psychic' association between Julie Christie and a child in danger, like a flash-forward to Don't Look Now. The actual subject remains typical of Dick Lester, with its funny/sad storyline (the 'kooky' Petulia is torn between her bizarre in-laws and her own whims, the latter including a flirtation with a divorced doctor) and its backdrop of 'psychedelic' San Francisco (complete with the Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin). Overall, though, the film leads into Performance much more than it harks back to Help and The Knack.