Donnerstag, 5. Dezember 2013

Tore tanzt

There are scenes of such extreme violence and indescribable ugliness in German director Katrin Gebbe’s feature film debut “Tore tanzt (Nothing Bad Can Happen)” that frankly crossed any line of appropriateness and arguably that of necessity. You really need a mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows plus a big warm hug afterwards just to cleanse that awful taste of profound misery (Oh the Germans and their fetish for tragedy… the BLEAKNESS!). That said, Gebbe, who is also responsible for the script, has, quite exceptionally, found a story that’s hefty and compelling enough to back up the excessive portrayal of abuse. Add to that a clarity and consistency of directorial vision and a cast that digs deep into the seemingly hollow naïvité or arbitrary personality change of their characters, and you’ve got something that’s horrifying in its savageness yet so finely observed at every step you can’t take your eyes off it. Technically, the movie is modest and naturalistic in look and can’t quite shake the air of a TV production, but it’s deftly shot and features atmospheric, unintrusive music choices.

Like Michael Haneke’s “Das weiße Band (The White Ribbon)”, this is a film that’s limited in scope, that at times even feels like it’s set in an alternate, isolated universe. But in its exhaustive exploration of interpersonal dynamics stirred by religious faith and its unflinching look at cruelty and malevolence tucked away in the quiet suburbia, it delivers nevertheless a rousing character study and a frightening discourse on the birth of evil.

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