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Overall Rating
4.32

Awesome48%
Worth A Look: 46%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 2%
Total Crap: 4%

4 reviews, 26 user ratings



Princess and the Warrior, The
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by Greg Muskewitz

"...never allows your mind the time or room to wander..."
5 stars

Instead of following trends, writer/director Tom Tykwer is better known to me for making them. This is but only his fourth feature, yet already I have a strong liking of the three that I have seen. Best known for his international hit “Run Lola Run,” Tykwer’s newest film, “The Princess and the Warrior” seems like it has come from a whole other world. I am not comparing Alain Resnais’ body of work to Tykwer’s, but I am reminded of what director/writer/actress Agnčs Jaoui once told me about Resnais, and that was he never repeats himself. Tykwer has shown that strength with his films so far, and though I doubt his work will have more meaning and resonance than Resnais’, at least he, too, will have an impressive body of work at bay if he continues how he has begun.

Franka “Lola” Potente, also the director’s companion, is Sissi, a nurse in a German psychiatric ward. She is struck down by a big-rig truck while the driver is distracted by a petty thief, Bodo (Benno Fürmann), as he hangs on the back of the truck to escape the police. In an effort to hide-out during the accident, he seeks refuge under the rig. Sissi, who is quickly approaching death, is saved by Bodo as he administers an emergency tracheotomy using a knife and a straw.

A long passage of time passes, but Sissi miraculously survives. Obsessed and possessed by her savior, she goes out to find him.

Alluding to medieval and royal times by its title, “The Princess and the Warrior” is far different from that. It’s a haunting, rapturing experience that settles around you like a haze from start to finish. The film never allows your mind the time or room to wander and adeptly keeps you focused as the search and events unfold. It’s not compelling in the same vein as “Run Lola Run,” and doesn’t display the same pulse-pounding exuberance (though the tracheotomy scene is extremely intense), but it keeps you wrapped up in everything as it happens. The film is a bit long, though certainly not to its disadvantage, but even through the plodding and unexpectedness of the story’s progression, you’re right there with it during its entirety in a sort of glazed, mesmerized state of being.

Going into this film, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was something that I was looking forward to, but without knowing much about. After “Run Lola Run” (Tykwer’s third feature) and “Winter Sleepers” (his second feature, released after the success of “Lola”), it was very clear he had style and vision — “Lola” was evidence enough on its own. While it was a hodgepodge of gimmicks assembled with a flair and originality, a repeat or imitation of the same thing would not have been a good thing at all. Tykwer does use similar techniques in the production side of the film — transparencies, time condensed shots, the angles of the shots, super-imposed images, green-Jell-O lenses, the color of the flashbacks, repeated shots, etc. — but he uses them in different and equally creative ways. “Run Lola Run” and “The Princess and the Warrior” are completely unique films; while the technical similarities are the same in name, their utilization are for completely dissimilar effects. I wouldn’t call “The Princess and the Warrior” groundbreaking, but Tykwer has again proved the worthiness of his finesse and stylization.

Potente, by all means, has the same appeal that drew me in “Lola.” Since that time, I have also seen her in the German thriller “Anatomy,” and even though I can’t judge her performance completely (her voice was dubbed in English), she is still quite impressive, just as she was in her minimal role in “Blow.” A particular huskiness stays constant with Potente, but she lucidly displays her transformation from role to role. Aside from the lengths and colors of her coif and the physical modifications, her beady eyes and evocative emotion also is a rivulet of continuation from role to role. The physically fit and anti-aggressive Fürmann (who was also in “Anatomy” with Potente) almost seems to lack a human element. His melancholia is well established and shown (for reasons explained in the film), but his lack of truculence and emotion feels too absent and removed.

In Tykwer’s highly admirable shift in gears, one of his signature traits has also been redesigned. The techno score that accompanied the fast-paced, pulse-pounding ambience of “Run Lola Run” has been traded in for a more classical score (composed by Tykwer, Johnny Kilmek and Reinhold Heil). In essence, it also makes the feel of the melancholy and pensive film more mature and classy, which is also an estimable sign of expansion and growth.

Now I can only highly await Tykwer’s vision of “Heaven” (and “Hell,” I believe), a project thought up by, but never tackled by Krzysztof Kieslowski.

With Joachim Krňl, Lars Rudolph, Jürgen Tarrach, Ludger Pistor and Marita Breuer.

Final Verdict: A-.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=5368&reviewer=172
originally posted: 07/01/01 17:51:48
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User Comments

10/16/08 Derek K Greg Muskewitz, how old are you? 1 Star for Double Life, 5 for THIS? This was awful trite. 1 stars
12/06/05 tatum Well done, but a little overlong 4 stars
2/20/05 axe There's a great German word to describe the indescribable loveliness of it: angestallt 5 stars
9/27/04 alicia potente shows her ability to act. this film is a beaut 5 stars
4/20/04 Tasha awsome movie! 5 stars
2/26/04 Stacey Sheesh, i don't understand how it be possibel that this movie gets any bad reviews at all! 5 stars
2/11/03 natasha_theobald draws you in and doesn't let go - extraordinary 5 stars
10/26/02 kitt4film@hotmail.com I own the DVD because this film is amazing. I'm looking forward to Heavon. 5 stars
9/01/02 Robbie Banfitch you want to go in and help the characters out when they're in trouble 5 stars
7/15/02 Dada Tired of predictability? Watch this movie! 5 stars
7/07/02 Jackie I loved this movie 5 stars
4/22/02 zotteLORRE quite bizarre movie... 5 stars
4/18/02 natasha I can't wait to see what Tykwer does next... 5 stars
3/30/02 Unanon Surprising on many levels, yet completely undersated... I like! 5 stars
2/20/02 Xaver A bit long...but it kept me interested. 4 stars
2/04/02 The Bomb 69 well done overall, ending unravels a little but still... 5 stars
1/04/02 Margaret A complex movie because of the new pieces of information that keep appearing 4 stars
12/19/01 leah mesmerizing. loved it. 5 stars
9/03/01 JNA A fantastic film. Extremely well done 5 stars
8/09/01 Salmon good film to spend evening in a cinema 4 stars
8/01/01 Heather Phew! Just blew me away! 5 stars
7/28/01 pat every cliche of European art house movie 1 stars
7/27/01 Reverend Krule Truely one of the best movies of the whole summer 5 stars
7/07/01 DramaLitFem@AOL.com Breathtaking, visually and emotionally--unique 5 stars
7/06/01 j worth the nyc $10 price tag 4 stars
7/02/01 beast flawed 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  22-Jun-2001 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  29-Nov-2001


Directed by
  Tom Tykwer

Written by
  Tom Tykwer

Cast
  Franka Potente
  Benno Furmann
  Melchior Beslon
  Marita Breuer
  Joachim Król
  Ludger Pistor



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