Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Victoria: Buckle Up

I saw Victoria on Netflix last night, based on a recommendation by New York Times photographer Emon Hassan, conveyed by my wife.  Emon said see it "now"! He was right.  This movie, reminiscent in some ways of Scorsese's After Hours and any number of amateur-heist movies, but with a story and frenetic pace all its own, was non-stop draining and breathtaking.

Non-stop is probably the key word here.  Victoria was motion-photographed in one uninterrupted flowing and jangling point of view, in a way that keeps your feet and eyes to the fire as much as the riveting story.  That story is about Victoria, who runs into some guys in bar in Berlin, and winds up as the driver in a life-and-death big robbery.

The very language in this movie is part of its charm - most of the Germans speak German, but since Victoria is Spanish, from Madrid, she speaks mostly English, which the main German guy speaks pretty well, too.   The linguistic mix underscores one of the main messages of the movie, which is that none of the characters understand the others all that well, certainly not Victoria and her German friends.

But that doesn't get in way of real emotion, either, as Victoria indicates when she tells Sonne that she thinks she's falling in love with him.   Budding love, however, has a hard time of it in this story, as Victoria moves from beautifully playing the piano for Sonne to helping him and his buddies with the robbery.

The acting is good and the plot is well constructed.  I was guessing until the very end.  I recommend you see this movie maybe with a glass of wine in hand - the caffein in coffee or tea may be too much for you as you get caught up in the 2 hours and 18 minute ride on the screen.
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