The Lives of Others, Donnersmarck

The Lives of Others by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Other films by Donnersmarck: The Tourist (2010)
Sublime (9.5/10)

This film is one of the greatest that’s ever made. I am surprised it hasn’t gotten the fair recognition it deserves. It uses all tools and mediums to have the film turn into an experiential art that tries to connect with every individual in an audience. The stories are intelligently told and their content was mesmerizing for any human soul. We find a connection to them and with them, as we feel that we are on the bird’s eye view of things, we can imagine that that’s how puny and insignificant our own lives is. The characters in the film were engineered into making themselves exist in their own way. How Donnersmarck did it in so limited time is beyond me.

The way the film was told, I think was very experimental as well. A good example may be the first scene, into which the audience was fooled into thinking the event that occurred was the actual present scene when in fact it is only a recollection driven by the audiotape in front of the Catpain’s class. This immediately pulled the interests of the viewers. And there are also important question tackled in each strong scene, only to make it stronger. The educational element that it gave dictated the role of the film. I very much loved the acting there as well, you get connected with the characters. I find Weisler’s personal character interesting although quite lonely as was pointed out in the film. I think he’s a great example of Albert Camus’ Mersault in The Stranger. We are only made to guess what he was thinking by judging his expressionless face. But beyond that what really is fascinating with this film is how each character has its own role to fit it, it’s existent and it has a reason for being there. And if you generalize the characters a little bit, you see that they have their own story that they shared, and you notice this in groups. You can then objectify the characters, then you generalize even more and you see the investigation Weisler was conducting and surveying but you can almost know that he feels he has the whole script of the event on the palm of his hands.

This film is very mysterious, suspenseful, thrilling and without all doubt, touching. I forgot to mention intelligent but that could fall under the artistic side of this film. It is quite special and possible my favourite film of all time.

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