|Index||8 reviews in total|
12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
A gripping and philosophical drama with a multitude of influences, 11 April 2011
Author: kluseba from Chicoutimi, Canada
This movie is easily the best German movie I have seen in the last
three years. It is a haunting and atmospheric drama with some
science-fiction elements, an eerie touch of suspense and even
psychological horror as well as some action scenes. This flick has also
a strong philosophical character without being too educative. The
gripping question of fate and morality may affect you way beyond this
movie and I thought about this intense film many days after I have
watched it first.
Normally, I hardly give elevated ratings but everything feels right about the movie. The acting of the movie is simply great. Let's point out that Mads Mikkelsen is playing the role of his life and proves once again that he is a great actor that is able to improve every time again and again. He is amongst my favourite actors now. There are many promising German actors that are delivering more than solid jobs here.
The scenario of this movie is based on a novel and filled with complex actions, cliffhangers and twists, just like a great book. I am really looking forward to read the novel now and though I can't yet compare both, I feel that the movie was intense, detailed and diversified. What I really find fascinating is that the movie, even though the main plot is based on a fictional idea that one could associate to a science-fiction or fantasy movie, the whole flick seems real, authentic and down to earth. The mixture is unique and credible. The movie is not about a magic door that leads to the past or present. This little and only fantastic detail helps to kick the whole story off and one is quickly face to face with situations that mix dreams and reality, wishes and deceptions, hopes and despairs so that one doesn't care about whether the introduction is not fitting or too unreal. This movie is not about something exactly supernatural, it's a lot about the true human character and its ideologies and behaviours.
The movie has what I consider a perfect structure, it slowly introduces the main characters and creates more and more a creepy atmosphere with some weird, surprising and shocking scenes that lead to a dramatic, emotional and action filled ending. You really get drowned into the whole story and feel with the characters.
The way the movie is filmed is full of details and the angels and close ups add a lot to the atmosphere of the film. The movie score underlines the incredible and creative story that starts as a drama and ends as a psychological thriller that is more intense than many horror flicks.
I highly recommend this brilliant and explosive mixture that touches your heart, your nerves and your brain. Spread the word about this rather unknown European flick that should gain worldwide attention as it has now come out in North America and the rest of the world.
6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
It's a mad, mad, Mads, Mads world., 25 September 2011
Author: tyler-and-jack from Edinburgh.
Mads Mikkelsen stars in this highly impressive German sci-fi movie that
uses one fantastical element to explore some dark and disturbing
material, though superficially it may not seem all that unsettling
until a finale that really piles on the revelations and forces you to
think about all of the possible repercussions.
Mikkelsen plays David, an artist who's life takes a turn for the worse after the accidental death of his daughter. He blames himself, his wife blames him, it's his fault. He really shouldn't have popped along the street to have sex with a neighbour. Five years later, after he tries to kill himself, David follows a butterfly to a passageway that leads to a door that leads to . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . five years in the past. He may have a chance to save his daughter's life and fix his life. But what will that mean for the other version of David still oblivious to all of these strange developments and how will it affect David's daughter, wife and friends?
Anno Saul directs this headscratcher and does so without any unnecessary razzle dazzle. The concept itself is solid and the way in which we see David dealing with his new situation is both easy to follow and also intriguing as some interesting twists and turns occur.
The script by Jan Berger, based on text by Akif Pirincci, helps a lot with the way in which the plot unfurls without feeling too leisurely or too rushed. It's a rather simple tale, in essence, with a lot of moral complexity that grows and grows throughout.
Mikkelsen is superb in the main role, really showing a range of emotions as the man who gets a chance to put his life right and then begins to worry about the ramifications. Jessica Schwarz is equally good as his wife and Valeria Eisenbart does very well as the little girl who starts to suspect that her daddy is slightly different. In fact, everyone on screen is excellent.
All in all, this is an excellent sci-fi that really just uses a sci-fi plot device to keep the focus on drama and an exploration of human nature. It's worthwhile viewing and contains a lot that will make you ponder it long after the credits have rolled.
15 out of 25 people found the following review useful:
Drama to Suspense to Spooky..., 27 August 2010
Author: TotallyBlunt from Turkey
First I want to say that I have a couple of problems with the plot,
some points that have got snagged in my mind and made me wonder, "But
why didn't the writer...?". This is one of those times when I wish I
had read the book (if there was a book) before watching the film to see
if those points arise from the story or how the story was translated
into film, but that would obviously defeat the purpose and kill the
suspense, so I am better off having seen the film first. Let me say,
seeing the film from beginning to end, I forgive those snags.
I will not repeat what the plot summary says. I just want to add that I liked the light world/dark world division, the secrets the supposedly light world hides and perhaps its reflections unto real world. I like the acting in general, the relatively slow pace of a thriller and how that slowness, without actually pacing up, makes the heart pace up and pulls the watcher into it. It's a make believe that you get lost in.
I wonder why there isn't a poster submitted to this web site, why the actors don't have photographs and why there isn't much buzz about the film. I wish the worldwide movie producers made use of a popular web site like this.
8 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
A sentimental thriller, 1 December 2010
I enjoyed very much this movie as it was a blend between dark and fantasy. The actors fitted the roles and I liked the game between the "old" and "new" characters. What I liked the most was the fact that the movie was not predictable and had a touch of sensibility, which most movies nowadays tend to miss. As an European movie I recommend it without hesitation and the thriller part was blended perfectly with the dark story. As a minor observation I can add that the story could have gone a bit darker without fading away the sensibility of the father- daughter relationship. In this light, I think the movie can be improved, but the written part on which is based I think succeeds as a story. So if you want a quality movie, with an imaginative story and good actors, this is the right movie for you.
4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Moving story around time travel. The usually annoying paradoxes do not stand in the way of enjoying it fully, 24 April 2011
Author: JvH48 from Amersfoort, The Netherlands
I saw this film as part of the "Imagine" film festival 2011 in
Amsterdam. It's about time travel, and the usual unavoidable paradoxes
make me cringe on average. Don't ask me, for instance, how and why the
main character moves 5 years back in time to arrive exactly a few
minutes before the dramatic drowning of his daughter. Of course (?), he
arrives just in time to rescue her and to literally start a new life.
And then he suddenly meets his five years younger counterpart...
Though similar issues could be spotted at will, this time there were so many compensating factors that I completely looked past them. We see normal human beings act in their environment, a well-to-do villa neighborhood, with no technical hocus pocus in sight. Several moving moments in the story will entertain a wide audience. You have to trust me in this, as I cannot tell more without spoiling.
When leaving the theater, I gave an "excellent" score for the public prize competition. The average geek who is in constant need of technicalities and gadgets, won't have much fun. But every other "normal" viewer will be satisfied with the casting, the acting, and the setting. Go see it for yourself, and bring your family with you. Don't be afraid that the usual time travel devices will come in the way, since there aren't any.
4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
One of the best European productions, 15 January 2011
Author: Mdln DeHond from Canada
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
One of the best European productions i have seen this year and
absolutely Deutsche Grundlichkeit!
When distraught artist Mikkelsen finds a door to a parallel world 5 years back in time he tries to set right what went wrong and it looks to go his way. The story line makes sense from beginning till end in this top smart suspense script with superb performance by Danish sexiest man of the year Mikkelsen and Schwartz as his wife. This story burns slow, but fastidious, and it twists and twists and twists.
A perfect world is only one layer away from disaster is one that applies here and as said by André Maurois:a man cannot free himself from the past more easily than he can from his own body.
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Mirren shines in Hungarian movie, 27 March 2013
Author: lampic from Netherlands
Intrigued with the idea that Mirren, after all her high-profile work
and awards chose to act in a Hungarian movie instead of making millions
for high paid cameos in some blockbuster SF, I almost forgot the
director - István Szabó who years ago directed one of the best movies I
have ever seen, famous "Mephisto" where Klaus Maria Brandauer sold his
soul to Nazi party in order to prosper. Being Hungarian, Szabó knows
everything about the fight of ordinary man with a system and I expect
something similar this time.
However, Szabó glosses over some very obvious opportunities where danger of political involvement might potentially bring disaster - this time he is focused on difference of how we see our acquaintances,friends and neighbors, in short, what do we actually know about people we see every day. In the center of story is grumpy old maid (Helen Mirren) who serves as a house help for rich couple living in a comfortable house on the other side of the street - though is clear the couple lives without any financial problems and have much higher position in a society, Mirren's character slowly becomes master of the house and everything depends on her. Mirren is brilliant as she completely dominates everybody around even though she wears rags and aprons most of the time - if you compare her costumed "queenly" roles from not so long ago, you are aware her charisma is by far above such trivia, she simply has a great cinematic presence. The big part of the plot is how she - clearly uneducated working class woman who despises politics and religion (and her superstitions border on paganism) jealously and fiercely guides her privacy and nobody is ever allowed to enter trough her "door" - her neighbors and employees can always count on her but no one is allowed in. Even local police is frightened by her.
Fascinating as it was,the movie than moves into maudlin territory - trough series of flashbacks and occasional outburst of temper, we learn about scars from Mirren's past and why she is the way she is. At this point I couldn't help but to think about similar old lady neighbors from my own life who appeared harmless and slightly eccentric but in their solitude nurtured fear, suspicions and old-age dementia. And as the movie progressed, I couldn't for the life of me understand why would anybody bother with such cranky old turtle who only scares everybody around. Szabó suggest that Mirren is intellectually superior to her employers but I was not buying it - her limited life experiences only made her bitter and suspicious about everybody's motives and she strictly refuses anybody's opinion or help. Yes,there were some fundamental questions posed here - old age, right for one's privacy and right to die if the person chose so - but Mirren's character is so close to old age dementia that towards the movie I lost any sympathy for her. If she refuses to open the darn door even to her neighbors who want to help her, well good riddance, she made up her choice. The very last scene is so pathetic that its simply embarrassing.
All the best about director, his cast (everybody is dubbed in English) and of course hats of to Mirren who was adventurous and brave enough to move into non-commercial but artistically satisfying direction. I lover this woman,but not necessary the character she plays.
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A truly awesome film that deserves a wider audience, 17 April 2012
Author: Thomas Aitken from New Zealand
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I had never heard of this film before renting it from the DVD store,
but by the time the final credits rolled, man I was glad that I had
found this little cinematic gem in the weekly DVD section.
The acting was great, the cinematography was awesome, the score was pitch perfect, and the script and pacing were excellent.
This story could have easily become a complicated mess of constantly reappearing Mads Mikkelsen's, but instead it opted for a more simple approach to time travel/alternate dimension theories, and in turn focused on building a really clever and strong plot line, rather than one with lots and lots of twists related to nothing more than an ever-repeating act of time travel.
I also really liked the fact that this film avoided the trap of becoming a fatalistic and depressing black hole - something that it could have easily spiraled into with such heavy subject matter - instead it maintains and ends with a strong sense of hope.
The only reason I didn't give this film the full 10 stars was because I felt the two sex scenes were just gratuitous, rather than actually needed (it seems to be a German film making requirement to have at least one graphic sex scene per film nowadays).
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