Berlin Syndrome – Good Thriller, Too Long

My favorite types of films are thrillers. Thrillers such as The Gift by Joel Edgerton or Nightcrawler by Dan Gilroy were the films that helped me become such a film fanatic, and the reason for that was that it showed me how many emotions one could feel during a short amount of time. This is the main reason why I watched this film. I didn’t know much about the plot, or even the people behind it, but it being a thriller peaked my interest enough. So how does this film compare to other thrillers I’ve watched?

Here’s a hint: it’s good.

Here’s the description from IMDb:

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.

This film is Cate Shortland‘s sophomore directorial effort, which was based on Melanie Joosten‘s novel, and its screenplay was written by Shaun Grant. It stars Teresa Palmer as Clare, and Max Riemelt as Andi, who’s her captor.

This film had many good things going for it, not the least of which was Teresa Palmer‘s amazing acting. Some people have criticized her performance as just an imitation of Kristen Stewart, and although I see the similarities, there’s just no comparing the two. Another highlight of this film is the way both the captured and the captor are written. The writer goes to great lengths to make these characters feel as believable as possible. Finally, I can’t not mention how beautiful the film looked, especially all the nature shots.

But, no film is perfect, and this film definitely had its fair share of flaws. The biggest thing that detracted from my enjoyment was the fact that it could’ve been 30 minutes shorter. I believe that is the perfect runtime for an effective thriller. They added a lot of extra things that did help flesh out the characters, but it also made the film drag in many places. Overall, I just found the film boring most of the time, except for some moments of brilliance, which is why I mostly enjoyed it.

In conclusion, I thought the film was just good. It had some amazing moments where I was glued to my (computer) screen, but it also had many moments that gave me the urge to just use my phone. And although Teresa Palmer and Max Riemelt‘s performances, as well as the writing cinematography, made it better than most mediocre thrillers, it still had many dull moments that took it many notches down in terms of my enjoyment. If anything, it made me interested in what this director and actors will do in the future.

Final Rating – 3/5

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