Sunday, May 10, 2009
Revanche (or “Revenge,” in some other, silly language that i don’t understand) is a fiercely existential thriller by Gotz Spielmann that has been on my radar for some time because it’s one of the rare first-run films that my beloved Criterion Collection is issuing directly into their DVD (and blu-ray?) line. this languid yet astonishingly confident thriller about an ex-con (a forceful Johannes Krisch) and the prostitute he loves is hardly the meditation on fate and randomness that many critics have been quick to dismiss (or praise in spite of the over-simplification) it as. rather, it’s a tight, salacious little chronicle of the hierarchy of human needs wrapped in unusually pretty b-movie trappings. spielmann engenders an unsettling unpredictability by having a plot-driven first half dovetail into a jarringly contemplative conclusion thatnever loses the edge of the action by which it was preceded.
that fluid tonal dynamic - when coupled with spielmann’s staunch, static camera - turns every spare inch of frame into a potential portal for disaster, every window a chance for Krisch to make another bull-headed mistake… also, Revanche was kinda hot, no? an arbitrary, pitchforkian 8.7.
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