DylanDoorsFan’s review published on Letterboxd:
Victoria's one shot.
Watching the superb 2010 Neo-Noir The Silence (also reviewed) earlier in 2016,I started reading up about other Neo-Noir/Thrillers from Germany.Looking at the handful of titles,one of the main films which stood out was one that had gotten praised for being filmed in one shot.
Planning to get the flick on disc,I was surprised to find a pretty high asking price. Taking a look at the time for updates on Netflix UK,I was shocked to find that the film had just been added to the site!,which led to me getting ready to meet Victoria.
View on the film:
Successfully completed on the third take,co-writer/(along with Olivia Neergaard-Holm & Eike Frederik Schulz) director Sebastian Schipper and cinematographer Sturla Brandth Grøvlen avoid any overly complex camera moves for a rough and ready hand-held style which glides on Victoria's gradual realization on what she has become caught up in. Within the single shot, Schipper finds the shadows of Berlin's Neo-Noir sparking on the dance floor with Victoria and being slammed to the ground in a narrow pathway police chase.
Using the screenplay as an outline to the improvised dialogue, Schipper's spends the first hour just hanging out with Victoria and the guys,with the "payment" only getting an off the cuff whisper. Designed as a way for the viewer to connect to the characters, Schipper drags the first hour screeching along the floor by keeping the characters wafer thin,as the romance between Victoria and Fuss springs up without them ever being given a moment with psychological depth.
Revving up the movie for a wonderfully dour Noir ending, Schipper dices the gangs challenge to pay up Boxer's debt with some tension,which gets ground down by Schipper constantly losing focus on the action to instead stare at the inane relationships,which are not helped by the flat performances of the cast,with Laia Costa's take on the title character being rather detached,which leads to Victoria being far from victorious.