There’s no way around how Sydney Pollack’s “Castle Keep” has aged awkwardly. Half of its jokes don’t land and never did, and it was written and directed by people who sacrificed artistry for cleverness. But there’s undeniably a kind of odd magic at work here. How many people were interested in showing warfare as simply the province of absurdity, and in showing the battlefield as not a transformative place but simply a graveyard waiting for bodies?
Released in 1969, “Castle Keep” is too cute, perhaps, to be the profound thing it intends to be. But it’s a fairly accurate study of cabin fever, of living in a society that has lost its walls and ceiling. That we’re all on our own now and it’s up to us to decide what happens next, at last. And I think we can all now relate on some level to that.
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