Plot: What’s it about?
A young woman and her boyfriend are soon to be married, but something lies in store for them that will shatter those illusions. As the rest at a small inn for a short while, the man is taken by Death and placed inside a mystical prison, which makes escape impossible. His lover is so distraught over this that she searches and soon finds a magical passage, which allows her within the chamber of Death. In this room are thousands and thousands of candles, each of which represents a life on her home world. Some candles have burned out, others burn bright and strong, but some of these flames are almost out, which means Death will soon pay them a visit. The girl is given a chance to save her love, if she can prevent the demise of one of three people, each of whom is almost to their death. Can this young woman manage just save just one of these souls, or is she doomed to be separated from her true love forever?
I love the films of Fritz Lang, so when Image announced that they would issue Destiny on our beloved format, I knew a review would soon follow. This film is quite different from most of Lang’s other works, but it still ranks in my mind as one of his finest efforts. In this movie, we watch as an entire realm of fantasy is created and then populated with unique characters, all of which are effective. The look of the film is very cool and has a dreamlike state to it at times, though dreams don’t always have to be bright and pleasant, mind you. The production design is excellent, from the atmospheric sets to the wonderful costumes, it all seems to interweave very well. This is of course a silent film, but you won’t be bored in the least, as the haunting visuals prove to be more than enough to command the viewer’s attention. I would rank this film with the most memorable visual efforts of all time, it just looks that beautiful. But there is more than eye candy with this film, there’s also a great storyline and some solid acting. If you’re a silent or classic film fan or just love the works of Lang, this is a disc you will want to look into.
I’m sure you’ve all heard of Fritz Lang, especially if you’ve taken some form of film class in school, but how well do you know his catalog of cinema? I know some of you have pored over his works, but many people know of a few films of his, while some real gems are left to remain in the shadows. It seems like for every Metropolis he has, there are a couple films like Destiny, which somehow fall between the cracks. I do like Lang’s better known films, but I think his best work lies in some of the lesser known ones, such as this one. Lang and his crew create an entire world for this film and in truth, even after well over eighty years, it all works to utter perfection. While the film is silent, you can easily see how it really speaks volumes, through visuals and storyline advancement. I recommend many of Lang’s other films also, such as Metropolis, Spiders, Woman in the Moon, Hangmen Also Die, The 1000 Eyes Of Dr. Mabuse, M, and The Testament Of Dr. Mabuse. The cast here includes Lil Dagover (End of the Game, The Pedestrian), Bernhard Goetzke (Siegfried’s Death), Walter Janssen (The Last Illusion, For Whom The Gods Love), and Rudolf Klein-Rogge (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Spies).
Video: How does it look?
Destiny is shown here in a windowboxed transfer, which allows for the entire image to be seen on screen. This film is over eighty years old, so it doesn’t look pristine, but Image has done a fine turn with the materials. I was surprised by how minimal the debris was, while the image was quite sharp and clean. There is some grain and debris present of course, but not as much as you would expect from a film made in 1921. The tint seems dead on and I saw no real problems. This isn’t a flawless transfer in the end, but it is a very good treatment for this classic silent film.
Audio: How does it sound?
This is a silent film, so the stereo track is used just for the music. I think it sounds terrific and is never too overpowering, so it seems like the mix is dead on. The music is well done and fits the film, so I am pleased it has been remade and sounds so good in this edition. Not much else to discuss, the music sounds great and no other audio elements are present.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc contains no bonus materials.