05 March 2010

Revanche (Götz Spielmann, 2008, Austria)

I've now seen four of last year's five nominees for Best Foreign Film. The one I've yet to see is Departures, the winner of the group. So far my favorite is probably The Baader Meinhof Komplex. Last night I watched the Austrian nominee Revanche. I haven't seen any of the director's films. I mean, I started watching Antares one day while I was killing time but then I had to go and I never got around to finishing the movie, although I was enjoying it. In any event, I watched this one last night. It starts of in a Viennese brothel called Cinderella. Our heroine is a Ukrainian employee of this establishment, working off a debt of $60,000. Her boyfriend, the bouncer, wants a similar amount of money so he can partner with a friend in opening a bar. The bouncer ends up being the protagonist, more or less. We find out that he's an ex-con with an ageing grandfather who lives out in the country. He decides to rob a bank to make their dreams come true and the girlfriend, Tamara, reluctantly finally agrees to support him on this if she can ride along in the car. He robs the bank. The cop husband of his grandfather's neighbor gets mixed up with them and inadvertently shoots Tamara through the rearview window. This is pretty much the setup for the revenge which I had read was coming but by this point I had completely forgotten about because I was so absorbed in the story of them escaping from the gangster pimps. I don't know what to make of this movie. My main thought is that it's beautifully shot. There were many striking shots in the film that had me "Wow"-ing. I don't know if this movie says much about revenge. Maybe it's just about grief? I mean, there is some revenge in the movie but I feel like it's mixed heavily with understanding. I don't know, I have a headache today. B

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