We so often hear the lament that Hollywood films don't have characters we can care about that it's a real pleasure to note that all the people in this one feel fully developed. It'd be nice if there were more of a plot to go along with them.
All manner of superstitions, religious conspiracies and insurrections are aired, resulting less in awe than bewilderment. However, taken as an exciting and expansive cultural bridge, the film is a roaring success.
For all its brilliantly brazen sequences and energetic supporting players (as the young lovers' mothers, Brenda Blethyn and Lisa Banes are terrific), Pumpkin's abrupt shifts of mood and needlessly complicated ending(s) render its latter third a bit of a chore.
Shot in black and white by the renowned Raoul Coutard, and with a score by Michel Legrand, the film represents an idealized view of reality that will strike some viewers (including this one) as overly sentimental.