Young nurse Sissi lives a secluded life, seemingly entirely devoted to her patients at Birkenhof asylum. Her first encounter with ex-soldier and drifter Bodo has a lasting impact. He causes...
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Young nurse Sissi lives a secluded life, seemingly entirely devoted to her patients at Birkenhof asylum. Her first encounter with ex-soldier and drifter Bodo has a lasting impact. He causes an accident that results in her lying under a truck, unable to breathe. While he provides life-saving first aid, mesmerized Sissi begins to wonder whether he may be the man of her dreams. But when she tracks him down weeks later her affection is rejected, as Bodo is stuck somewhere between a traumatic past and a criminal future.Written by
Armin Ortmann <email@example.com>
The literal translation of the German title is "The Warrior and the Empress". The name of the main female character, "Sissi", refers to the nickname of Elisabeth, Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary (1837-1898). There are several movies and television shows about the Empress Elisabeth, some with "Sissi' in the title. See more »
When Bodo is being interviewed by the doctor in the psychiatric ward, the doctor pours a glass of mineral water for Bodo, and sets the bottle down on the desk, with the label at an angle to the camera view. In the next shot, the bottle is turned so that the label is nearly directly facing the camera view. (The water happens to be Apollinaris mineral water, which is sourced from a spring in Bad Neuenahr, Germany.) See more »
A scene from the German version is missing in the U.S. one: Towards the end, instead of just leaving the "old Bodo" behind, we see him encountering a bus driven by Walter and then the two driving off together. See more »
This existential fairy tale is devastatingly beautiful
"The Princess and the Warrior" moves at a leisurely pace, nowadays commonly mistaken for slow or plodding. It is the pacing antithesis of "Run Lola Run", yet in remarkable ways, covers the same thematic ground. Tykwer takes Krzysztof Kieslowski's favorite themes (fate, chance, destiny) and tells one of the most uplifting existentialist tales I've ever seen on film. Poetic in its visceral impacts, heartbreaking in its emotional force, "The Princess and the Warrior" achieves an astonishing level of humanity which very few films ever strive to attain.
As a result, "The Princess and the Warrior" becomes the jewel in the crown of Tykwer's filmic repertoire. With Franka Potente as the emotionally-reserved Sissi and Benno Furmann as the jaded Bodo, Tykwer has created two opposites who are fated to attract. Unlike Hollywood, however, there are no magical forces at work, no clever "Meet Cute". It is very conceivable that these two could have never met, and only due to Bodo's criminal actions do they meet. Is it fate or coincidence that Bodo's run in with the law causes a run in with Sissi? Their interactions are quiet with bursts of trauma, their eyes do most of the talking. Tykwer seems to suggest that Bodo and Sissi's entire existence is to affirm each other's life.
Tykwer has crafted a psychological exploration of two misguided souls looking for an escape from their lives. Stuck in perpetual repetition, Sissi and Bodo live without living, searching for some meaning but incapable of doing so or, even more sorrowful, rejecting whatever is presented to them. This is not a "Pretty Woman" clone but an honestly reaffirming look at two unhappy individuals finding what they so desperately need in each other. Bodo and Sissi's relationship of awkward meetings, misconceptions, and soul-binding metaphysical connections culminates in what I can only describe as one of the most impactful and emotional climaxes in all of film history--period.
Kudos to Tykwer for creating one of the most romantic and spiritually-fulfilling films I've ever seen. A perfect and necessary viewing experience for anyone feeling stuck in the mundane routine of life, thrilling, suspenseful, almost painfully aware of what it feels like to be emotionally and spiritually lost. "The Princess and the Warrior" upholds the optimistic idea that even when things go bad, life is still worth living, if only to help someone else. It is, in my opinion, one of the finest motion pictures ever made.
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