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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>
According to an interview given by Charlotte Rampling on the National Public Radio program "Fresh Air", the scene where she dances and sings topless in a Nazi outfit was the first scene filmed. See more »
[Max has handcuffed Lucia to a long chain attached to the bathroom]
So they can't take you away.
Klaus... Bert, Hans.
It's nothing to laugh about.
And if they come with a file?
Then you fight.
[Lucia continues giggling]
[...] See more »
This is quite dark. If you are seeking material that can be described as "happy" or "light", you will not find it here. I didn't know anyone in this prior to viewing. This deals with Max, the night porter of the title, who has tried to put his past in the SS behind him. One night, he spots a woman, Lucia, and they both recognize each other... she was one of the concentration camp prisoners, and the two had a specific relationship with one another. The plot is captivating. This is deliberately paced, and those who have short attention spans, and/or wish for a lot of developments in a feature are not the intended audience for this. I found the behavior of all of the characters chillingly psychologically accurate, and this definitely takes a long, hard, unflinching and uncompromising look at human nature and the mind, and not everyone is going to like the observations. The acting is excellent. All of the leads disappear into their roles. They are all well-cast, too, talent as well as physical types. I don't know if anything similar to this has truly happened, but I can imagine it, and this does pay respect to the historical events. The editing mixes flashbacks and the present effectively. This has disturbing content, including violence, sexuality that is not graphic and explicit nudity. None of it is gratuitous. The DVD has credits and posters, and while the print starts out looking shabby, it turns out to be perfectly fine. I recommend this to anyone who believes they can handle it, and is mature enough, from reading this review. 7/10
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