Makes you want to avoid meeting anyone, ever again.
The psycho-sexual thriller Berlin Syndrome tells the story of Clare (Teresa Palmer), who met attractive and charming Andi (Max Riemelt) on a trip to Germany, only to end up trapped in his apartment as a captive to his whims.
I actually found a good chunk of this film pretty standard and dull. It was the typical “fall-in-love-but-the-person-isn’t-what-he/she-seems” type of story. We have seen this many times. One normal, one psychotic.
And Clare found evidence that she was not the first (nor would she be the last) of this psycho’s toys.
This is probably the biggest issue I have with this film. Andi seems to leave her alone in this apartment all day and there does not appear to be any really outlandish precautions he set up (except for the big locks on the door), but it seemed reasonable to me that she had plenty of time to plot out the demise of this psycho. However, her attempts to free herself are so pathetic that it makes her look quite weak.
In one scene, she stabbed him through the hand (instead of the throat), pinning him to the table. She grabbed the keys and took off. Why she did not stop and lock him in the apartment, I’ll never know. It could have all been over right there, but she did not feel the need to finish him off.
There were some tense moments in the movie, but they were surrounded by all of these failed opportunities that I just could not get past.
There is no doubt the film is stylish and attractive to look at and has some very disturbing imagery, but the rest of the story was really lacking. Perhaps part of the trouble was many scenes were spoken in German. Maybe if these scenes were in English or if there were subtitles, I would have a stronger understanding of what was going on and why things were happening as they were. But since they were not, I only have what I have to go on. And what I have to go on was not very effective.