Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas 2013

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(12) IMDb 6.1/10
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In the 16th century in the Cévennes, a horse dealer by the name of Michael Kohlhaas (Mads Mikkelsen) leads a happy family life. When a lord treats him unjustly, he raises an army and puts the country to fire and sword in order to have his rights restored.

Starring:
Mads Mikkelsen, Denis Lavant
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 2 hours 2 minutes
Starring Mads Mikkelsen, Denis Lavant, Bruno Ganz
Director Arnaud Des PallièRes
Genres Drama
Studio FUSION MEDIA SALES
Rental release 24 March 2014
Main languages German, French
Subtitles English

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Dooley TOP 50 REVIEWER on 11 May 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a German- French co-production and is based on the novella by Heinrich von Kleist. That novella was based on the real man Hans Kohlass. In the film we see Kohlass played by the always excellent Mads Mikkelsen (`The Hunt', `Valhalla Rising' and now `Hannibal') as a horse trader. On the way to market he has two horses confiscated by the Baron who claims them as a toll charge.

Kohlass is not amused when he finds out the Baron has acted illegally and moreover abused the horses and set the dogs on his man servant. So after a few more attempts at justice he takes the law into his own hands and goes all out for retribution. Soon he has an `army'.

Now this is a two hour film and it does take its time in more than one place - poetic might be a way of describing it. But the novella, although published in 1810 was seen as written in an existentialist way with a linear narrative posing as a chronicle. I feel director Arnaud des Pallières wanted to capture that especially in the tunnelled vision pursuit of justice that Kohlass embarks on.

This is also not an action film and once again we are subjected to misleading cover art that should be illegal, there are no screaming hordes and no castles set afire either so if you want an action film then give this one a wide berth.

There are notable performances from Mikkelsen, ably supported by German David Kross and veteran French actor Denis Lavant; Roxan Duran (`The White Ribbon') makes a spirited appearance as the Princess too. The cinematography is really nice and the horses and scenery are both beautiful and bleak when they need to be. So it is a well made, well acted and beautifully shot film and I even liked the music but I could have shaved some minutes off the run time hence my rating, but I am still glad I watched this and would recommend with the above caveats.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By godzilla78 VINE VOICE on 11 Mar. 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A horse trader (Kohlhaas) is on the way to market to sell some horses when he encounters a young baron. The baron and his men take 2 of the horses as a form of "tax" despite Kohlhaas's protests. As a man of honour and principle, Kohlhaas at first confronts the baron concerning the return of his horses to no avail. Eventually he is told he can have his horses back however there is a problem. The horses that would fetch a price at market have been worked into the ground and are in a poor state. Kohlhaas refuses and wants them returned in the condition that he had lost them to the baron. He evens tries on several occasions to sue the baron unsuccessfully. Warned that if the issue is raised again he will be jailed. In one last throw of the dice Kohlhaas agrees to sell his land and take his case to the court of the princess. His wife argues against this course of action but will represent her husband at the court.

Kohlhaas's wife returns mortally wounded (what happens to her is never explained nor shown on screen) thus he is left to raise his young daughter whilst seeking revenge against the baron.

This is the crux of the story. However there are plenty of flaws. The film itself is slow and ponderous with little dialogue and many key events take place off screen. Once Kohlhaas has enacted some form of revenge he has a band of several men by his side. In the next scene he has a small army which continues to grow (again off screen). There is one brief moment when his army attack a castle with flaming arrows.

So the title and cover are both very misleading. The uprising which takes place never happens during the film but inbetween scenes. The cover may lead the viewer to believe this is a film of a peasant revolt with the odd battle.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sally T on 24 Mar. 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Perhaps the book ought to be read first, but I don't know if there is an English version. So, if you haven't read the book, watch the film. Here much is left to the imagination, Michael Kohlhaas (Mads Mikkelson) is a peaceable and prosperous horse trader but when things go horribly wrong for him and his family, he seeks his revenge on the baron who wronged him. The camera does not dwell on scenes of gore and bloodshed, action is understated but all the more menacing. The sun does not shine in the mountain scenes but the mountains are so haunting and the horsemen outlined against the sky are scenes you want to see again and again. There is not much dialogue either, it is not necessary. All in all this film is striking because it does not deliver any easy answers. We both enjoyed it and Mads Mikkelsen is excellent.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Brookes on 10 May 2014
Format: DVD
I picked this up on the strength of the lead actor Mads Mikkelson, I've seen him in a few things recently and he's been eminently watchable each time (especially in Hannibal). In this he plays a medieval horse trader who's screwed over by a local lord. In essence it's a revenge tale, but quite a sombre one. If you're expecting an action flick then this isn't the film you're looking for. The scenery is bleak as is the story and Mikkelson plays the stern faced trader well. It has an understated feel throughout, even in the more dramatic parts it doesn't shout out. Personally I liked the style, but I can see how it would fall flat for some. Overall a decent watch if you don't mind the slower pace.
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