Knife in the Water

Director: Roman Polanski
Year Released: 1962
Rating: 3.0

Very good first film from Polanski that's - in its essence - a three-person play that takes place on a lake and contains a minimal amount of dialogue - Polanski, in an interview, says he and his screenwriting partner tried to avoid bloated conversations and let body language and the camera tell the story. It's an analysis of not simply aging but masculine competition - knowledgeable older man (with young wife) takes on wise-ass kid for a boating trip to 'show him up' (the set-up is somewhat of a stretch and requires overlooking) and impress his blank-slate wife. What ensues is a power struggle between the two of them in which neither wins and older men who prefer younger women are taught a little lesson. Descriptions of the film that include the adjective 'suspenseful' are incorrect (if anything, it's almost completely cerebral) - if the movie was intended to be suspenseful, it does not succeed. Of course, it's also interesting to compare this to the events in an older Polanski's life - you know, with him marrying a significantly younger actress and everything else like that....