This movie truly made me rethink my pompous blow-hard nature: that is to say, I'm fanatical about Jean Genet, madly in love with Brad Davis, and I even MOSTLY like Fassbinder. But for some reason, I can never seem to get through the first half of this movie.
Jean Genet's forbidden story of Querelle was, simply put, never meant to be translated into a movie. The internal struggles of Querelle were too innate, too complex...to ever be categorized and flow-charted and minced down into two hours of a panel-by-panel film script.
Now, with that said, I think Fassbinder made an excellent attempt to put you right up inside the taboo story of our favorite murderer/hero. The scenery is luscious, the costumry finely detailed, the casting superb. Not to mention the delicious sailor booty of a certain leading man, Brad Davis.
Still, I find this movie left me with much to be desired. After the torrid affair of Querelle and Nono, I wanted to roll over and go to sleep (no underlying meaning meant). Even THEN, there was only so much tension up until that point, and the plot manuevering that Fassbinder undertook did nothing to appease me. For example, the lusty leiutenant who writes of Querelle in the novel, keeps, instead, a tape recorded diary. With any horribly tedious passages taken directly from the text. In terribly stiff monologues.
All in all, I rated this movie with four of five stars. It perfectly compliments any Genet collection and makes for wonderful ornamentation on your DVD shelves. But if you've never heard of Jean Genet or never saw a Fassbinder movie, you should probably buy a different homoerotic brothel-lined story of metamorphoses and love.