Monday, May 29, 2017

Berlin Syndrome (2017)

Director: Cate Shortland
Writers: Shaun Grant, Melanie Joosten
DOP: Germain McMicking
Cast: Teresa Palmer, Max Riemelt
Language: English, German

A passionate holiday romance leads to an obsessive relationship, when an Australian photojournalist wakes one morning in a Berlin apartment and is unable to leave.

Film is an adaptation of a novel with the same name by Melanie Joosten and it is an Australian-German co-production. As the name indicates, it is a riff on the Stockholm syndrome and you don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that she is going to be a hostage in their relationship. The film is not told entirely from the perspective of the lady and there is a lot of German speaking as the guy goes about his daily business as a teacher. She makes several attempts to escape but it is not entirely about how she is going to manage to do that. We see her coping with her lack of freedom and how she changes gradually over the course of the film, physically and emotionally. We are not entirely sure about the motivation of the guy but we learn that he was in the Eastern part of Berlin before the collapse of the wall and his mother had defected to the other side. He still has affinity towards the GDR (East Germany) and resents his mother for defecting. The whole hostage taking relationship and locking away can be seen as an allegory of how things were under East Germany for its citizens.

I am generally not a fan of cities as the ones I have been generally exposed to have been the Indian ones. A city that is still developing is a hell-like place to be in but on the other hand an already developed one can be great to live in because of the culture and various options that you have. I have been outside Indian once and it was Germany that I visited. Berlin is a place that will leave you absolutely awe-struck and all I spent there was just about 5 hours. The lady in the film don't mange to get to see what all I saw in those 5 hours as she was locked up pretty sharpish. Berlin Syndrome is a very good watch and can be seen as a hostage drama rather than as a horror thriller.

Rating: 3.5/5