Cate Shortland’s Berlin Syndrome falls under the thriller genre but it’s not so thrilling after all.
Clare (Teresa Palmer) plays the role of a tourist from Brisbane, wandering around the city of Berlin, photographing the East German architecture that fascinates her, and so does the director. All the locations are so beautifully captured that you can’t take your eyes off them. She runs into Andi (Max Riemelt), a charming, interesting German professor. They start talking at a signal. He offers her strawberry and some directions and they get attracted to each other from the very first instance. They go back to his place and make love that’s when asks Claire, “What happens when you get to know someone?” in bed, stroking Andi’s stubble face. He gazes at her, lost for a moment, in thought, and replies, “You see all their ugliness.” Everything seems to go fine until the next day when Andi leaves for his job and locks Clare in his house.
Initially, what looked like a genuine mistake takes a dangerous turn when the key that he leaves at the dresser next day turns out to be a wrong one and the windows couldn’t be broken as they were reinforced. Remember when your mother asked you to not talk to strangers, that’s what Clare did and now she was locked. What happens when Clare gets to know the true colours of Andi and what she does after that is the whole story.
The story is somehow very predictable but what steals the show is the way the movie is filmed and the characters are portrayed with their abnormalities, as pointed by Palmer in a scene, where she is doing a weird abnormal dance and Reimelt asks her, “Can’t you be normal?” Palmer walks up to him and whispers in his ear “You’re Abnormal.”
Teresa Palmer steals the show and Max Riemelt plays the psycho teacher quite efficiently. All in all, it’s a good thriller with a nerve wrecking climax but the movie drifts away far too much than it should in the middle portions.
We give Berlin Syndrome 2.5 stars with a kink. Brownie points for Teresa Palmer and her acting.
Cate Shortland's Berlin Syndrome falls under the thriller genre but it’s not so thrilling after all. Clare (Teresa Palmer) plays the role of a ...2.5