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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Fictionalized account of Georg and Margarete Trakl, with some marked
deviations from the historical record which, while serving the romantic
tenor of the film, diminish any claims it has on authenticity.
The acting by Lars Eidinger and Peri Baumeister is fine, and the feel of the film is very romantic, dark, as passionate as Trakl's poetry, but the story yields surprisingly little drama, and the conflict that exists is all of one note: Georg cannot live without his affair with Margarete - he *must* have her! But he *cannot* have her - their incest is a sin. Margarete meanwhile seems unfailingly devoted to Georg. There was so little development in this dynamic that by the end of the film I ceased to care about either character.
The Trakls' story takes place at an interesting juncture in Austria's history. We could have been treated to Wittgenstein, shown Georg's experiences with the military, had Margarete's drug use explained by her compromising her music for marriage, but alas the film chooses a very narrow focus and we're given the "Bruckner" character instead of Langen. Bruckner? As in Anton Bruckner? Do the filmmakers mean their work as a sort of poetic re-imagining of historical fact analogous to Georg's poetry? We are told Georg kills himself, not that he OD'd on cocaine, and that Gretl shoots herself after a party, not that she went through a fortune and died drug-addicted and destitute. And what were they thinking in closing with King Crimson's "Court of the Crimson King"??? Dramatic, sure, but English prog rock to interpret Austro-Hungarian expressionists? Huh? I think in this case sticking closer to reality would have been more interesting than the results of such lavish application of artistic license.
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