This subtle, snail paced character study has a mood to match the introverted silence of its protagonist: a hapless only child of an ordinary, unremarkable Austrian family, whose life is tethered to his undemonstrative parents and to perfunctory ambitions toward a career somewhere in medicine. It's a cold, cheerless movie, fatally detached from its already remote protagonist, with young Karl's general air of malaise meant to condemn the empty soul of the bourgeoisie, or some such nonsense. The monochromatic narrative is briefly illuminated by Elizabeth Prohaska as the metropolitan girl who allows Karl his one, shining moment of freedom in an otherwise gray, lifeless existence.
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