fredag, april 09, 2010

The Good German

This film we watched on DVD and in the three main roles we could see actors like George Clooney, Cate Blanchett and Toby Maguire. Director Steven Soderbergh.
This could have meant that this became an extremely good film - but no.

The story circles around Jake Geismer (Clooney), an American journalist arriving in Germany to cover the Potsdam conference, Lena Brandt (Blanchett) a German prostitute, once the girlfriend of Jake, who is desperate to get out of Berlin and finally corporal Tully (Maguire), Lena's current 'protector'.
A dead mans body washes up in Potsdam and Geismer tries to solve the mystery around this death but neither the Americans nor the Russians are interested in helping him. Their priorities lies more in finding nazis (the Americans) and rocket scientists (the Amerians and the Russians) like Braun.
Finally Lena has her own secret, revealed in the end in a scene reminding me of one of the last scenes in Casablanca, when Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart say goodbye to each other.

Aesthetically Soderbergh works in black and white combined with documentary pictures, trying to create an ambience reminding of a post-war film, made in the 1940's.
This approach works out rather well though we as spectators are not fooled to believe that this is not a modern film and this is surely not the intent.
However when it comes to the narrative, I'm not impressed at all, or I should rather say disappointed.
This story could have become much more thrilling than it actually is.
I don't know why Soderbergh is unable to achieve this because it shouldn't have been to complicated as the story in itself is'nt bad at all. Maybe making a thrilling story was not his goal?
Maybe he just wanted to make a 'good old fashioned' black and white story, less adventurous than one could have anticipated.
If so I would have liked some more interesting depiction of the different characters, deepening the psychological insight in their different psyche but I can't find this either.

I wonder what Hitchcock could have made out of this as there were clear references to war or post war times films made by A.H. - and others.

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