Time Out says
Brook's interpretation of the evergreen myth (luminously photographed by Sven Nykvist) cuts incisively through the lush romanticism of Bizet's opera (although retaining all his best tunes) to the tighter fantasy of Mérimée's original story, leaving only a sinewy passion to bind together this tale of a gypsy, a soldier, and their love. Delavault is inspired as Carmen, displaying a malignity that is as motiveless as that of Shakespeare's Iago, but as resigned to the inexorable workings of fate as Lear. The rest of the excellent cast work at a fever pitch, keeping events within Brook's earthy arena at a rolling boil, while Brook's choice of title leaves no room to doubt that it will, as ever, end in tears. (Two other versions were filmed, one starring Eva Saurova, the other Zehava Gal Halet.