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The Wall [DVD]
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Martina Gedeck, best known for her performance in the Academy Award-winning film THE LIVES OF OTHERS, now stars in THE WALL, a contemporary female Robinson Crusoe story. Based on Marlen Haushofer's best-selling eponymous novel from the 1960s, the film is a highly original exploration of the experience of solitude and survival.
Gedeck plays an unnamed Austrian woman who goes to a secluded Alpine hunting lodge with her cousin (Ulrike Beimpold) and the latter's husband (Karl Heinz Hackl) who, shortly after their arrival, decide to visit the nearest village. When the couple does not return the next morning the woman sets out for the village and discovers an invisible wall, behind which there appears to be no sign of life. The wall now separates her from the rest of the world. Left behind with a dog, a cat and a cow, she must try to survive alone in the forest. She keeps a record of her thoughts, her fears and the hardship she suffers although nobody might ever read her outpourings. Martina Gedeck's outstanding performance brings the role to a rare and vivid intensity.
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Top Customer Reviews
Once the shock has worn off she has to take stock and all she really has in the loyal dog Luchs ( named as Lynx on IMDB!). She is telling her story through the words she has written in her journal and as she slowly runs out of paper we are brought closer to the present day. What follows in a haunting, mesmerising and totally enthralling film. Though the dialogue is minimal, as you would expect having no one to talk to, the narrative is just so compelling it carries the story. The acting by Martina Gedeck (`The Lives of others') is amazing, the animals were pretty impressive too, especially Lynx. There are some scenes of apparent animal cruelty so please be advised as I know that can be upsetting.
This though is simply beautiful, a story pared to the bone yet done so leaving only what is essential and it is a visual feast. All sci - fi has to have an element of the existential and this is all about the basic drive that keeps us going, even when it all seems futile. In German with good subs, directed by Julian Polsler who seems to have done most of his work for TV, I think that with this unexpectedly brilliant piece of cinema he can say he is more than ready to bring something unique and special to the `big' screen.
The film is based on a 1960s novel by the Austrian writer Marlen Haushofer and is set in a beautiful Alpine valley. The female protagonist is somehow surrounded and trapped by an invisible `wall' and we observe her struggles with solitude, loneliness and despair resulting eventually in a gradual acceptance of her situation. We are uncertain of what exactly her situation is, but early in the film when two elderly neighbours are shown frozen in time we can presume that a cataclysmic event has occurred and that she may be the only living human survivor on earth. However, nature appears to be functioning as normal and she has to quickly adapt her way of life in order to survive. She feels a responsibility to the animals that live with her but a touching dependency is slowly formed, especially with Lynx the dog. There is an unexpected event near the end of the film which leads us to ponder whether the invisible wall has served to imprison the protagonist or has in actuality protected her.
The cinematography is stunning and the music stark, haunting, sorrowful and evocative. However, the slow and contemplative nature of the film may not be to everyone's taste. There is no real narrative and no answers are provided, merely questions as to the purpose of human existence on the planet.
But at one part did it fall apart for me and I never really got over that. Don't read anymore if you don't want a spoiler.....
OK, so she finds another person there, sadly it doesn't work out, LOL. Now if that was you and I, wouldn't you instantly run to the wall and work your way around it? I mean he cannot have been living in that area all the time, he got in, he was another survivor, so you'd look for the entrance he used wouldn't you. I mean I'd spend me whole life looking for that, yet she doesn't, she doesn't spend one minute looking for his way in and her way out. ?????
So I begun to think, maybe the wall and the place doesn't exist, maybe she just went totally mad one night and this is her fantasy world, isolated, away from everyone but in reality she is in a mental home and we are just seeing her view of her fantasy world. Well as an idea it's as good as any I have heard. I just don't buy into the idea of a man turning up and she doesn't go looking for how he got in there.
Well worth watching, time well spent, but not the type of film you will watch again and again.
It is described as 'a female Robinson Crusoe' which is understandable, though 'The Wall' is more concerned with psychology than Robinson Crusoe was and it is essentially a stark, dark, bleak, beautiful, character study.
It may be contentious to describe it as being 'very German', if I did I would say that, in my defense I enjoyed the bleak style of 'Das Experiment' and 'Christiane F' too! For me it is a compliment.
All this may make it sound like an unappealing film, but it's the mood and mystery that makes it all so appealing.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A meditation on solitude but more than that. What makes us human? Is it the company of others? The drive to survive? Or is it coming to terms with ourselves? Read morePublished 5 months ago by dawnlabarre
NOt a bad film at all, but no closure. I wanted it to explain at the end just what the wall was, but it wasn't to be.Published 9 months ago by G K Barnes
Dreary, depressing and without a proper ending or any conclusive answers. Awful movie! Nearly two hours of my life lost to that rubbish.Published 13 months ago by Halloween Scream