You don't need sound to be exuberant.
memento_mori - wrote on 09/24/13
This film is so mature for its age, for a number of reasons.
The editing: every shot tells a story by itself and every cut leaves my mood in a different position.
Murnau even used the film's disadvantage to his advantage. Since talkies were uncommon at that time, title cards were used to express dialogue. The clever tactic here was to sometimes insert a flashback after a title card, then go back to it. I can't explain it thoroughly now, but it's very effective in the movie. Other slides are filled with creativity, like dragging or fading in words. It's remarkable.
The music that accompanies the silent scenes in this film is often breathtaking.
I usually fancy something similar to Charlie Chaplin's musical choices, like the whimsical score of Modern Times, but this music is though-provoking and almost awe-inspiring.
It made me feel what the characters were feeling and understand the moral injustice displayed in these relationships. The psychological torment the Man is experiencing at the beginning of the film.
It's just a brilliant motif that underlines everything, and some of the best acting I've ever seen.
Where the film falls short for me is the fun fair scene, which is actually quite a large chunk of the film. The change of tone is very weird and inessential. I didn't buy into this happy, naive relationship between the husband and wife, considering their relationship was shattering just a few minutes ago. But it got much better by the almost perfect ending.
Iconic direction, fascinating acting and characters, a provocative script, just about everything I expect from an older movie. Definitely a pioneering feature to be remembered for its amazing influence and depth.