Victoria – ★ ★ ★ DVD Review
Victoria was a gimmick film, plain and simple. It was shot in real time and in one long continuous take, without any cuts, without any re-dos. On that front it succeeded fairly well. As a story, it was a little lacking. Victoria (Laia Costa) is a young Spanish woman living in Berlin, who after a solo night at a club meets up with four guys who describe themselves as “real Berliners” and offer to show her the true city and where to have a good time. They get some beers and head up on a roof, smoke some cigarettes and eventually split up. Sonne (Frederick Lau) has really taken a liking to Victoria and takes her back to the cafe she works at that she needs to open in a few hours. As they flirt and chat one Sonne gets a phone call from one of the guys from earlier in the night called Boxer (Franz Rogowski), he needs Sonne’s help for something, and arrives at the cafe very agitated. Boxer was in jail before and owes the guy who protected him while he was on the inside. Now he needs Sonne to help him with some sort of illegal activity to pay back that debt that requires a four man team. When one of the group is way too drunk to be of any use, Victoria agrees to be their getaway driver. Crime and punishment come quickly as we creep into the early hours of morning.
From a filmmaking point of view, Victoria was ambitious and I’d have to say a success. The film was 2 hours and 20 minutes, so they didn’t just try and rush through their “one take” experiment, they grabbed it by the horns and went all out. Watching it though, I noticed a few clever little tricks they did to get their cast a little bit of rest. I applaud the effort and the skill involved in making it, the planning, the organization, the timing all were impeccable. Having a loose outline for the script and improvising a lot of the dialogue really helped make this film happen. All that said, the film was great, but the movie wasn’t. If it was filmed as a traditional movie, it would have had a more polished script which would have helped a great deal. All in all, I’m glad I watched it though.
Bottom Line: My biggest complaint was the DVD didn’t have subtitles, and for that I blame Mongrel Media. Let me clarify though, it was subtitled when the characters were speaking German or Spanish, but there was no subtitle track or closed captioning for the English dialogue. For a film like Victoria, there were no boom mics to pickup the sound, so a lot of the dialogue wasn’t very clear. Being able to “cheat” and have the subtitles on would have been a nice option. Also for such an experimental film, I was very disappointed that the DVD had no bonus features.
Posted on 17-08-31, in 3 Star, Movie Reviews and tagged Berlin, Burak Yigit, foreign film, Franz Rogowski, Frederick Lau, Laia Costa, Max Mauff, one take, Sebastian Schipper, Victoria. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.