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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
#1 HALL OF FAMEon 20 October 2002
Wings of Desire is held up with Paris, Texas (1984) as Wenders's finest moment. This sequel, I feel, has been judged too harshly by some. The 'To Be Continued' at the end of Wings of Desire surely would have led you to expect it? Faraway, so Close! is flawed and has some boring and/or silly moments- though I think the same can be levelled at the latter parts of Wings of Desire (when Damiel comes to earth, for example). It's an interesting flip-side to Wings of Desire, FSC! being set after the Berlin Wall has fallen and reunifcation of East & West Germany has occurred (a complete antithesis to the Berlin of WOD, where the Wall dominates).
The story focuses on Cassiel, who follows Damiel into the mortal realm and finds it hard to fit in with the interference of Willem Defoe's Emil Flesti (Time Itself)- this is a bit pretentious and the action scenes at the end don't really work. There are great things about FSC!: the soundtrack (U2, House of Love, Lou Reed, Nick Cave/Barry Adamson), Nastassia Kinski, Damiel & Marion, the cameos (Peter Falk again, Mikhail Gorbachev, Lou Reed), the return of Philip Winter as a character (see Until the End/Alice in the Cities/Lisbon Story/Kings of the Road- the latter he is Bruno Winter!), the scene where a newspaper floats past Cassiel's head detailing the death of Willy Brandt, the scene from the Nazi era and the final scene as the survivors float away from Berlin on a barge (reminiscent of Vigo's L'atalante).
The good moments far outweigh the bad/dull, not many films can measure up to Wings of Desire- to which this is an extension with enough to warrant its existence. I particularly liked the sewer scenes, where beneath the modern reunified Berlin lies arms from the Nazi era- this reminded me of The Third Man. Another film this recalled was Three Colours: White, which looked at the new capitalism (everything/anything is for sale) in post-Communist Poland and in many ways can be viewed as a companion to this from the realm of European Cinema.
Faraway, So Close! is a good film with excellent moments, though it is far from the best of Wenders in the 1990's- which I feel can be seen in The Buena Vista Social Club, The Lisbon Story & Until the End of the World.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 21 December 2011
I am in a minority for regarding this film as if anything, better than the film it follows, "Wings of Desire" because it takes all of the themes of that film and then develops them further. As well as being an inevitable film, the first ending with "to be continued", it was also made necessary when the Berlin Wall came down - the first film being about Berlin before this event, an update was needed.

Having relatives who lived in Berlin during the Second World War, these two films strike deep with me. It needs to be remembered that this film is a fable, not a realistic story - nobody is expected to really beleive that angels are like this, although they may be closer to the real thing than most suspect.

As a moral and spiritual fable, this film is unsurpassed, and is one of very few films that leaves me weeping every time I watch it.
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VINE VOICEon 1 June 2010
This movie has the same director, same characters, same formula, and the same feel. Yet it is different and maybe even superior in different ways to "Wings of Desire." However it does start off awfully slow paced and you're not sure where they're trying to go. It also takes a little bit of time of getting used to the characters switching from English to German and German to English on a whim. Sometimes this movie has the feeling that is designed to promote out of work actors. We see Peter Falk even getting to play Columbo. Nastassja Kinski, as Raphaela, was always a good actor. In this film, she excels and with a little age looks even better. A great antagonist in this film is Willem Dafoe as Emit Flesti; he almost makes you want to be the bad guy.

Movie based on:

"The light of the body is the eye.
If, therefore, thine eye be clear, the whole body shall be full of light.
But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness."
(Matthew, VI, 22)

Our story takes place in post-Cold War Berlin in an area that is known is no man's land. Cassiel (Otto Sander) is frustrated as being an angel (an angle is nothing but the messenger) he can influence but not directly the nature of people. He crosses the line into reality to save the life of a fallen girl. This is where the adventure really begins as he must learn to see humans from a human perspective. In the process, he still knows right from wrong and must struggle to maintain the right. We suffer and triumph with him as he meets up once more with all the characters that he tried to interact with as an Angel. Will he be able to survive against evil?

Wings of Desire (Special Edition)

The Lives of Others [Blu-ray]
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 31 August 2001
Indeed not as good as the wings of desire, but very charming still and very enjoyable to watch. One of the most innovative sequels I have ever seen. Sequels are not easy because the public has high expectations. This film possibly fulfills some of them. Thank you
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on 15 February 2010
This is as good as Wings of Desire but not as uplifting. Wings of Desire took place in charming Schöneberg and Kreuzberg, whereas the scene of this sequel is the not so charming but more pompous Mitte behind the newly torn-down wall. In Wings of Desire there was still hope of peace and a future, now all that counts is making money and there is absolutely no sense of unity or a common goal. Reagan, Thatcher and Kohl say "we've won" and that's all. You can forget any idea of Central Europe coming to the fore at last as consequence of the wall's disappearance. Wenders simply tells the truth and it's no surprise people in Germany didn't like it very much but people elsewhere did.
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on 8 January 2010
It is as I remembered it but I got it mixed up with its predecessor, in that I thought the scene in the library, was in this one and not Wings of Desire.
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 31 July 2002
Wings of Desire was always going to be a difficult film to measure up to, and sadly Wenders fails to do so with this sequel.
Returning to the world where humanity is watched over by benevolent angels achieves nothing here of what it did in the original. Gone are the meditations on human pain and pleasure, on the nature and hard work of love, and the wonderment at the human condition from an outsiders perspective. Further lacking are the intelligent mix of lesser known European actors with that of Peter Falk in the first film. These are instead replaced with a slew of bigger names, often used it seems because they were available and not because they were needed. The effect is to give the film the reek of a vanity project, both for director and cast, in place of the originality and warmth brought displayed in its predecessor.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 14 November 2000
This film tells us about angels who live all around us and can (and sometimes do) become people. Same idea was used in previous Wenders movie 'Wings of Desire', but this film, although interesting, does not have same sort of magic.
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