It’s true that not all good stories make for good films; what Vincent Perez’s plodding, predictable, utterly perfunctory WWII drama fails to recognise is that it doesn’t even have a particularly good story on its hands.
As noble as the source material seems, Alone in Berlin‘s tale of Nazi-oriented dissent in Berlin is preaching to the converted, shedding practically no light on the war – yes, we know that Nazis were bad and we know that not all Germans were Nazis – to wallow in a plot that’s about as thrilling as its premise suggests: fighting the war with postcards. Forgettable.
Gleeson and Thompson are far better than Alone in Berlin deserves; Gleeson’s intense stoicism and Thompson’s anguished whimpers cannot save a film that has no idea what it means to say.
CAST: Brendan Gleeson, Emma Thompson, Daniel Brühl
DIRECTOR: Vincent Perez
WRITERS: Vincent Perez, Achim Von Borries, Bettine Von Borries (screenplay), Hans Fallada (novel)
SYNOPSIS: After the death of their son, a mechanic and his wife start leaving postcards all over Berlin that pose questions against the Nazi regime.
Alone in Berlin was reviewed as part of One Room With A View’s coverage of the 66th Berlinale Film Festival, which runs 11-21 February 2016.