Effigy: Poison and the City
- 1h 25min
1828: Two very different women collide in an age that has no place for either of them.1828: Two very different women collide in an age that has no place for either of them.1828: Two very different women collide in an age that has no place for either of them.
If the murderess and her plot had been invented, this would hardly be credible, it would simply appear overdone. So the disturbing thing is that this apparently gentle but crafty woman, who poisoned around 15 people over several years before being caught, really existed in Bremen. I watched the film in a cinema in a city in Germany, not far from Bremen, and friends from there know the story from local history.
In the film, the murderess appears to envy the skills and social standing of her opponent, the young law clerk Cato Böhmer.There are a few understandable interpretations of the killer's motivation and psychological disposition, but by and large her actions remain a mystery, so you get something to ponder about afterwards. Why did she kill so many people and at the same time portray herself as a caring person?
The dialogues are enjoyable acoustically, in contrast to many current films, where it is apparently cool to mumble or to accompany the dialogues with loud background noises or music.
The specially produced film music, performed by a 40-piece orchestra, is wonderfully composed and fitting to the whole atmosphere of the film.
The criminal case is integrated into the technical and economic developments of the era around 1830. You learn about railroad construction in Northern Germany together with impressive historical backdrops. As an interesting detail, the use of a kind of mechanical copier is also shown (a device completely unknown to me).
It is a film well worth seeing, not only for fans of historical dialogues. I am already waiting for the next film from Udo Flohr and hope that he will continue to employ such powerful actors.
- Oct 1, 2020