Benno Fürmann, Nina Hoss, Hilmi Sözer / Fiction / German
EIFF regular Christian Petzold presents a cool, disturbing psychological thriller.
Born in 1960, Christian Petzold is one of the leading directors of New German cinema. He was twice named Best Director at the German Film Awards, for the psychological drama Wolfsburg and for The State I am In (2000), which also won Best Screenplay at several festivals. He has received great acclaim for the made-for-TV features Something to Remind Me (2002), Die Beischlafdiebin (1998) and Cube Libre (1995).
#1/ Sunday 21 June, 2009 / 18:47 GMTHmmmm.
A very loose adaptation of "Postman" I would wager...loose enough to incorporate a rather unpleasant undercurrent in the shape of some racism.
I'm being deliberately controversial here but I cannot have been alone in finding something unsavoury in the notion of a central character in a German thriller being a short, fat, ugly, Turk who can only find "love" by paying off the debts of a tall, beautiful, slim, blonde haired German woman and then holding this over her as he beats her.
Was it just me?
Aside from that there was nothing new here.
A very old story being told without anything new being brought to the tale.
I'm not sure I've ever seen a film that uses a shot of someone sweeping out the back of a delivery van twice...I'm not sure I ever will again. The blurb here paints this as a cool, disturbing, psychological thriller but it wasn't any of those things. The only disturbing thing about it was the ending...and not in a good way, it was disturbingly cliched.
Petzold is a director with a reputation but my guess is that if this were an English language offering and coming out of the U.S that the programmers wouldn't have given it screen time.
#2/ Sunday 21 June, 2009 / 20:03 GMTMy wife and I couldn't agree with Paul's comment more. We found the film to be, not just a loose adaptation of "Postman", but a somewhat poor adaptation to boot.
The only significant change, as Paul pointed out, was the potentially racist portrayal of one of the central characters. If the above description proved to be inadequate in anyway, then there is a distinct similarity between Petzold's Ali and Shakespeare's Shylock (Merchant of Venice).
On a positive note, the first 10-15 minutes of this film offer some promise, but the hook is soon lost. You will then spend the rest of the film waiting for a surprise or twist that will ultimately never come. Even while viewing the final scenes, you will be running an infinite series of imagined possibilities through your head, only to be disappointed by the extremely cliched ending which could, at best, be described as a dismal attempt at irony.
#3 / Thursday 25 June, 2009 / 11:51 GMTIt wasn't so much of a psychological thriller as a slow drama. Like the other comments have said, it hints at a big twist but one never comes. The drifter Thomas is rather cold and silent so I couldn't really get what he was all about. It wasn't very tense and not a lot happened.
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