As often with Antonioni, a film riddled with moments of brilliance and scuppered by infuriating pretensions; full of longueurs, it works neither as a portrait of Swinging London, nor as a bona fide thriller.
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
The New York Times by Bosley Crowther
This is a fascinating picture, which has something real to say about the matter of personal involvement and emotional commitment in a jazzed-up, media-hooked-in world so cluttered with synthetic stimulations that natural feelings are overwhelmed.
Blow-Up is moving and influential for the chasms it understands to exist between people, and for its perception of art as unable to bridge those divides.
Blowup daringly suggests that an image without politics isn’t an image at all.
A prize ‘60s artifact, Michelangelo Antonioni’s what-is-truth? meditation on Swinging London is a movie to appreciate—if not ponder.
Chicago Reader by Jonathan Rosenbaum
This is so ravishing to look at (the colors all seem newly minted) and pleasurable to follow (the enigmas are usually more teasing than worrying) that you're likely to excuse the metaphysical pretensions—which become prevalent only at the very end—and go with the 60s flow, just as the original audiences did.
An absolute must.
Blow-Up defies analysis by design, given that it's about an artist who makes messes and cleans them up only in part, leaving behind the splatter that interests him. Antonioni follows a similar methodology, making strict interpretations of Blow-Up pretty pointless, and certainly less enjoyable than soaking up the mod decadence and ennui.
Chicago Sun-Times by Roger Ebert
Whether there was a murder isn't the point. The film is about a character mired in ennui and distaste, who is roused by his photographs into something approaching passion.