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Criterion Collection: Revanche [Blu-ray]  [US Import]
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Top Customer Reviews
Reviewing such a film without letting too many cats out of the bag is difficult. A cellar-man at a Viennese brothel falls in love with a Ukrainian prostitute. She is being harrassed by her boss, but in a surprisingly untypical way. They decide to do something about it. But not what you would immediately think. His solution does not succeed (generating a moment of untypical sadness in your reviewer) and he is obliged to reconnect with his estranged grandfather, a farmer of peerless morals, and the policeman pursuing him and the policeman's wife. At times one can smell blood in the air but the ultimate ending has much more realism about it then many a film.
I was surprised by this film, and recommend it.
As regards extras, I haven't watched the Making Of yet, but the one with the director speaking of his approach to film-making was very much to my liking. And he does refer to the two meanings of the French word Revanche, as adopted and used in German - revenge and also, in some contexts, another go or chance.
I didn't check out how many subtitle languages there are, I just watched the good English ones.
Beware the spoiler in another review here, and just get this film, it's a classy piece of work. Unless of course you prefer big bang Hollywood action.
The film takes place in Vienna, where Tamara is a young Ukrainian woman working as a prostitute. She appears to be well looked after, but it's clear that her life and freedom are not her own. Her boyfriend Alex, an ex-con who works in the brothel, plans an armed bank robbery so that they can escape from increasingly fraught circumstances, but the robbery goes badly wrong and the consequences affect not only Alex and Tamara, but Robert, the policeman who gets in the way of their escape. Both Alex and Robert feel guilt, anger and confusion over what has happened, but, coincidentally living in close proximity to each other brings them together in unexpected ways.
Revanche changes pace slightly in the second half into a much more brooding and intense film. The film is however not quite as abstract in its treatment of the theme as Philippe Grandrieux's La Vie Nouvelle, nor is it as questioning of society as fellow Austrian Michael Haneke's examination of events leading up to a bank shooting in ...Read more ›
There is an old saying in the theater that if you show a gun in the first act, it had better go off in the third act. Here director Gotz Spielmann plays a variant on that old stage business. We see something splash into a pond as the opening credits roll. It is not clear what it is. The camera lingers as the concentric ripples spread out and then are done. Later on in the film we see the same scene from the point of view of the person who threw the object into the water. It is near the end of the film, in what in the theater would be the third act.
"Revanche" in German means "revenge." We all know how hard it is to forsake revenge when we have been hurt. We want to strike out at some target. But what do we do when we have no target or when the target is innocent? And to what extent is the desire for revenge a way of absolving ourselves from what has happened? Revenge is a standard, even hackneyed, movie theme. Action movies and thrillers often employ the psychology of revenge as both theme and plot device, as a way of keeping the audience emotionally involved. Here revenge is used in a different and ultimately redemptive way.
Early in the film the camera lingers on a street scene. We see a narrow alleyway like an urban street tunnel. The camera holds that shot so that we expect to see someone or something emerging from that alleyway.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Though provoking especially around the subject of revenge and subsequent acceptance. Granted its Teutonic but not overly heavy handed. Recommended.Published 19 months ago by Tom Hilborn
Wooden and dull beyond belief. These so-called actors should find other jobs, ditto the director.Published 23 months ago by J. Kinory
Interesting story, well directed, acted and paced, with just the right ending to leave you reflecting about actions and consequencesPublished on 22 Mar. 2015 by AJC
Interesting and well acted film which poses some interesting questions and emotions. It does all this in a careful and subtle mannerPublished on 8 Dec. 2014 by Frodo
Agree with the more negative reviews , I love european cinema but this is very poor as the sub titles are rubbish and so it is impossible to really get a grip with the acting [and... Read morePublished on 27 Nov. 2012 by cartoon
where characters are real, and situation not clear cut.
The image is amazing, both in composition and colors, and while the whole framework is not necessarily that... Read more
I was drawn to this modern thriller by rave reviews from film critics and magazines. On the plus side, the fact that the actors are unknown to UK audiences makes it easy to believe... Read morePublished on 7 April 2011 by Beetleypete
This little gem of a film was nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar in 2009 a plaudit richly deserved. The acting was wonderful and the story gripping. Read morePublished on 9 Mar. 2011 by RONAN R OSULLIVAN