Margot, who lives in a comfortable middle class apartment, fears that she is losing her mind after having had her second child. Her husband Kurt, who is busy studying for an exam, does not ... See full summary »
Margot, who lives in a comfortable middle class apartment, fears that she is losing her mind after having had her second child. Her husband Kurt, who is busy studying for an exam, does not understand her situation. Her mother-in-law and sister-in-law Lore are openly hostile to her. She resorts to valium and drink, and looks for sympathy, but to no avail. Written by
Margot, is a middle class German housewife, who is having some problems. For one she's seeing things, the camera ripples as if under water, whenever she experiences one these fits. Or else it zooms in dramatically, as if her focus is being thrown off completely. Is she just depressed, hysterical, schizophrenic, suffering an anxiety disorder, different doctors tell her different things.
Her husband is largely uninterested he's studying for some Math exam, in their apartment beneath his mothers and sisters. Needless to say Mom and big sis, are always sticking their head in with helpfull hints on how she can be a better, mother, wife, etc. One doctor wants to have an affair, out of desperation she does, when she has sex she stops thinking "then the fear doesn't come". That only works, til she wants more, than he's willing to give, then its a booze and pills cocktail, to numb the days away. The only person who asks her to talk is a man from across the street who she tells her daughter is "sick in the head", and avoids at all costs, hes a walking mirror of her, but one that at least reaches out. Its she who rebuffs him, she may be hallucinating, but she's not one of "those people".
Like other drama's about housewives on the edge, Cassavettes actors showcase, "A Woman Under The Influence", or Todd Haynes germaphobic "Safe", this is gripping and sad film. The big difference is Fassbinder, adds a lot of humor, especially in the music, which is almost timed for comedy at points.
Its a disorientating experience, and maybe flat to some, but I understood Margot's plight, which wasn't just limited to her station as a housewife, her love or lack of love, or her substance abuse, perhaps its something she will never be rid off. Some people just have to like this, under a wavy ripply world, of constant uncertainty and fear from nowhere. Fassbinder, puts us in her shoes, forcing us into empathy without a clear solution. Someone commented its like the best Lifetime, movie ever. I disagree mostly, but wouldn't rule it out entirely. When the story is weak, the film itself picks up, lingering or changing scenes, cutting of sentences, to heighten the emotional tension, and for the most part it works
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