Victoria

Victoria ★★★★

Like neon lighting and Aaron Sorkin’s dialogue, one of my many kryptonites would be movies that heavily feature long takes, especially ones that were edited to look like they were shot in one take. Unlike movies like Birdman and 1917, though, Victoria is one of the rare cases where the movie actually was shot in one take and wasn’t just edited to look like it was, along with Russian Ark, which I still haven’t seen yet. While I did like the cinematography as a whole, I consider the one-take approach to be both a blessing and a curse to the film.

On one hand, the use of one continuous shot makes the movie feel more like a nocturnal odyssey and it compliments the improvisational dialogue and some of the great musical cues, but on the other hand, it feels like almost all of the attention was poured into the film’s cinematography and not on other things, like the plot or the characters. I get that Victoria was trying to be more of an experience than an actual movie, but something like Birdman was able to integrate its one-take gimmick into the plot and even its themes to an extent, but in Victoria, it feels like the one-take gimmick was done just for the sake of it. Because of this, Victoria failed to grab my full attention after the film’s admittedly great first 40 minutes, although there still were some great moments wedged in between some dull ones. 

Although it’s not a perfect movie, Victoria is certainly a memorable one, and while there are a number of movies that pulled off similar gimmicks in more interesting and rewarding ways, I still thought that Victoria was a great movie.

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