Victoria

Victoria ★★★★

To claim german cinema as a prolific benefactor is somewhat of an overstatement. As a german myself, I believe we are missing fractions of the artistic genes to keep up with others in this medium; in terms of originating well-regarded, elaborate pieces periodically. Needless to say, the possibility exists that I mistake the film business here, and that in some peculiar way the majority of an already sparse set (which is mostly tasteless) appeals to the audience here.

I'm the big driver.

So much the better that we have got Sebastian Schipper's Victoria, one of the few beacons that shine even brighter due to the immense contrast. Daring and aspiring; Schipper's emphasis, akin to many like-minded ones, rests primarily on the submergence of one single event. One virtue of Victoria that struck me revolves around the subtle craft of obscuring, non-existent cuts - yes it's a real one take, an act which I could usually pinpoint the placements of, but was unable to do so during this viewing.
Uninterrupted, Berlin's night scene comes to life as you are left with the genuine craving for making acquaintance with the characters and an idea where this odyssey is headed. As soon as the latter discards its secrecy, the film loses considerable amount of the intitial allure for the quite seductive premise evolves into a blatant attempt to up the ante by taking a route that, if executed this way, lacks all the qualities that build an experience where you go: "woah, haven't seen that before." Although Victoria paints itself larger than life from this moment on, the frenzy that is reflected in the character's disarrayed mannerisms as well as the wavering camera calls forth utter discomfort, and sweaty palms.

An issue that left me with bewilderment is the unhesitating nature of the lead character. The film gives vague answers to this question in form of an insignificant verbal conveyance which sure provides context to a meaningful, soul-piercing piano play that peels off untouched layers of this protagonist.
So it's about being finally able to do the activities which were forbidden before? Escaping the oppressive fangs of authorities that took ones childhood away? Is that what drove her to consent to the detour of madness, because she saw in it a sign of freedom?

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