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An American of German descent arrives in post-war Germany 1945. His uncle gets him a job on the Zentropa train line as a sleeping car conductor. The American's wish is to be neutral to the ongoing purges of loyalists by the Allied forces and do what he can to help a hurting country, but he finds himself being used by both the Americans and the influential family that owns the railroad. After falling in love with the railroad magnate's daughter, he finds that he can't remain neutral and must make some difficult choices. Written by
Ed Sutton <email@example.com>
Zentropa has much in common with The Third Man, another noir-like film set among the rubble of postwar Europe. Like TTM, there is much inventive camera work. There is an innocent American who gets emotionally involved with a woman he doesn't really understand, and whose naivety is all the more striking in contrast with the natives.
But I'd have to say that The Third Man has a more well-crafted storyline. Zentropa is a bit disjointed in this respect. Perhaps this is intentional: it is presented as a dream/nightmare, and making it too coherent would spoil the effect.
This movie is unrelentingly grim--"noir" in more than one sense; one never sees the sun shine. Grim, but intriguing, and frightening.
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