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Thirteen years after WWII a concentration camp survivor (Rampling) and her tormentor, currently the night porter at a Vienna hotel, meet again and fall back into their sado-masochistic relationship. Written by
Ed Sutton <email@example.com>
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Unsettling, Haunting, Beautiful, Chilling, Poetic, Disgusting and perhaps even Romantic. All at the same time.
This film is both disturbing and effective. This film stands out as one of the 70's bleakest contributions. It's very hard to obtain just one feeling towards the film since it has so many layers and creates so many emotions.
The lead a night porter who used to be a Nazi officer in charge of a concentration camp encounters his past when one of his previous captives checks into his hotel. A relationship between captor and captive is then revealed. As a matter of fact in some (sick) way they are very much in love. Whether it's the Stockholm syndrome or something else is never quite revealed but when her fiancé leaves she stays behind and the two of them pick up where they left off.
Of course it can in no way be a idyllic relationship and of course problems occur. The fear that she can be used as a witness spreads among the Nazi underground which he is still very much a part off though he wants to leave and stay in the shadows. The movie is about what the night porter does to protect his love from danger and might I say it's quite poetic.
Fabulous performances from both Dirk Bogarde(my favorite actor of all time) and Charlotte Rampling. The frames are nearly perfect and the film itself was so complicated and well done that the director (Liliana Cavani) should be considered a master.
But lets get back to the emotions this film contains. I just can't makeup my mind how I feel about these two people and their love. One side of it is quite beautiful but the other side is both disgusting and incredibly chilling. Unsettling, haunting, beautiful, chilling, poetic, disgusting and perhaps even romantic are the words I would use to describe this film. It's these mixed responses that makes me love this film so much.
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