While holidaying in Berlin, Australian photojournalist Clare meets Andi, a charismatic local man, and there is an instant attraction between them. A night of passion ensues. But what initially appears to be the start of a romance suddenly takes an unexpected and sinister turn when Clare wakes the following morning to discover Andi has left for work and locked her in his apartment. An easy mistake to make, of course, except Andi has no intention of letting her go again. Ever.
The apartment that Clare is trapped in is based on a real one, in the Prenzlauer Berg neighbourhood of Berlin. Director Cate Shortland: "It was a 50- or 60-apartment building with [only] about eight apartments occupied. But all of our young people are flocking there. It's kind of a beautiful idea, wanting to get out and explore, and hoping the artistic and cultural dynamic of the city will rub off on you. It's a place with a lot of community feeling, but in winter it's also an incredibly monstrous, grey, miserable place." [The Guardian. June 2017] See more »
Clare have access to her mobile phone after Andi removes her sim card. You don't need a sim card to do an emergency call. See more »
What would be the worst thing I could ever do to you? Don't worry... I would never do it. We are a team.
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Brilliant direction, but no real point to the story.
I love Cate Shortland's previous films: Somersault and Lore. I really like how the director evokes mood and stages her sequences, but this at times brutal film has little point. Girl is trapped. Girl does everything she can to survive. Nearly 2 hours of watching Teresa Palmer endure her captivity in 'Berlin Syndrome' was pretty gruelling. I don't see or feel a journey as I did with the female protagonists in Cate's earlier work.
There is such talent in front of and behind the camera here, but it feels like a step backwards. I get there must be an audience for this type of content, and I rate it still pretty highly because of my respect for the director, but it isn't a patch on her first 2.
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