Film Review – Victoria (2015)

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Title – Victoria (2015)

Director – Sebastian Schipper (Sometime in August)

Cast – Laia Costa, Frederick Lau, Franz Rogowski, Burak Yigit, Max Mauff

Plot – On a night out in Berlin, Spanish native Victoria (Costa) runs into the charismatic Sonne (Lau) and his three friends and an eventful 2 hours is set in motion as the group get drawn into a life changing event.  

“They are not your friends really. They’re like your enemies. Because they are fighting for your dream too”

Review by Eddie on 15/08/2016

As the spoilt for choice movie-goers that many of us now are, film’s often don’t feel like an experience anymore.

Whereas films like the original Star Wars or even more recent tales like Avatar and The Force Awakens feel like a trip to another time and place, most films of today’s modern age feel more like a running through of motions, a ticking off from point a to point b and as the credits roll the experience is never to be thought of again, Sebastian Schipper’s incredibly captured in 1 singular take Victoria is absolutely an experience that will have you glued from start to finish and a night out on the streets of Berlin that are wholly unique.

I can’t properly describe the hypnotizing effect Victoria cast’s on the viewer as Schipper and his cameraman Sturla Brandth Grøvlen’s steady gaze stays on Victoria and her newly minted group of friends, as a night out on the town quickly transpires into something else entirely. It’s an adrenaline rush of a ride, even though the film outstays its welcome at roughly 130 or so minutes’ worth of unedited glory and it’s a cinematic trip that will have you constantly reminding yourself you’ve barely had time to contemplate what has come before as we as the audience are with these characters as their lives are slowly but surely being changed before our very eyes.

This change that occurs from innocent night out on the town to something far more sinister and potentially dangerous is also Victoria’s biggest downfall as Schipper films progresses into a slightly to far-fetched scenario (particularly in the case of Laia Costa’s central Victoria) that sadly can’t properly maintain a near perfectly paced and constructed set-up.

Motivations for characters and decisions made by them on the fly don’t gel completely and with the fine groundwork Schipper and his capable cast laid in the films early stages it’s a bit of a shame that Victoria’s narrative isn’t quite up the superb technical work and conception at the core of this often stunning film.

All at once haunting, pulsating and a marvel of film ingenuity, Victoria is a must watch foreign film that was sadly ignored at the industry’s biggest night on Oscar day due to its ineligibility in the Foreign film section thanks to a large portion of the film’s dialogue transpiring in English but one would expect that this once in a blue moon feature will be a continued favourite as more and more film fans discover it’s masterful handling of a not quite on par plot.

4 snapbacks out of 5

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7 responses to “Film Review – Victoria (2015)

  1. Spot-on review. I really enjoyed this brilliant feat of acting and technical choreography. Also, to maintain the drama for a film set in one-take was terrific. As you say it could’ve been shaved for time but it grips throughout despite the occasional silly decision by the characters.

  2. For me, it was the lead’s confusing motivations and decision-making that kind of ruined the whole thing. I couldn’t get on board with her character after a certain point.

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