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any good movies lately?
and recommend it.
Directed + written by: Tom
Starring: Franka Potente, Benno FŁrmann, Joachim Krůl
Language: German [with English subtitles]
Look for it at the video store under:
drama, foreign [Germany]
Watch it when youíre in the mood
The critic says:
5 the rating system
Fun factor: /5
Sissi is a nurse in the mental
institution thatís both her workplace and her home Ė she has a small
apartment there Ė and is beloved by the patients for whom she cares.
One day, while out in town with one of her favorite patients, a truck
driver comes barreling down the street and is momentarily distracted
from keeping his eyes on the road just as Sissi and her companion are
about to cross. Sissi manages to push the patient out of harmís way,
but the truck strikes her. This is how Sissi finds herself pinned under
the truck, unable to move. Itís so quiet, she thinks Ė then realizes
itís because she canít hear her breath. Meanwhile, a sad handsome
stranger named Bodo, whoís on the run from two angry men, ducks under
the same truck to hide from his pursuers. He notices Sissi lying there
and realizes sheís in trouble. Wait, he tells her, then slides out
from under the truck again. He returns, as promised, with a straw in
hand; quickly, he cuts a small slit in her throat and pushes in the
straw. The emergency tracheotomy saves Sissi from death, but itís
meeting the stranger that changes her life. After months spent
recovering in the hospital, Sissi still canít get him out of her mind,
and so she sets out to find him.
Too often, a director stumbles upon the
perfect recipe for a hip, clever, successful movie and ends up recycling
the same formula over and over again until the audience finally screams
enough, and the directorís career goes kaput. Tykwerís previous
film, the wonderfully kinetic Run Lola Run, was so distinctively
quirky and stylish, and so universally loved (itís the rare foreign
flick that even non art-house-movie-lovers seem to have seen and
adored), that you could easily have imagined its director sticking with
the tried and true. Instead, Tykwer followed up his hit with The
Princess and the Warrior, which is every bit as slow-moving and
still as Lola is heart-pumping frenetic. Donít get me wrong: itís
never boring to watch, thanks in large part to the gorgeous
cinematography and star Franka Potenteís imperfectly beautiful face
Ė which has the curious ability to seem open/vulnerable and a little
reserved all at the same time (something about the expressive eyes
combined with the strong set of her jaw Ė thereís a hint of the
strong emotions lurking within, but you get the sense sheís trying hard
to keep it contained). But while Lola seemed
tailor-made for the short-attention-spanned, MTV generation, Princess
requires patience: itís like an underwater dream, where everything
seems to float by in slow motion, and youíre waiting, waiting, holding
your breath just like Sissi is, hoping for something to happen. Things
do happen, little quirks of fate and surprising connections that keep
putting Sissi and Bodo in the same place at the same time. Whatís
lovely and reaffirming about Tykwerís version of fate is that all the
tiny coincidences, the small miracles of chance, only serve to present
opportunities. In the end, the message seems to be, itís the little
conscious decisions we choose to make that actually determine our paths.
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