If you’ve got the cheek to basically rehash Vertigo in post-war Germany then the result better be good. This isn’t.
Criminally devoid of drama or character developments, Petzold and Farocki’s script waffles along pathetically. Take the first and final scene of the film and cut out everything in between. Then you might have something to work with.
Hoss and Zehrfeld are passable, directed by Petzold into one-note performances of tense whispering and little emotion.
The cinematography is inventive and confident but there is little to work with in the unimaginative set-ups.
The far-fetched concept isn’t established thoroughly enough to support the weight of the remaining film, and the script – bafflingly – dwells on the most boring part. Nowhere near as good as it thinks it is.
CAST: Nina Hoss, Ronald Zehrfeld, Nina Kunzendorf, Uwe Preuss
DIRECTOR: Christian Petzold
WRITERS: Christian Petzold, Harun Farocki and Hubert Monteilhet (novel “Le Retour des cendres”)
SYNOPSIS: A disfigured concentration-camp survivor, unrecognizable after facial reconstruction surgery, searches ravaged post-war Berlin for the husband who might have betrayed her to the Nazis.