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"The past can be a ticking bomb. Especially if you placed it there yourself"
on 19 August 2009
The central idea of the film, a group of ex-anarchists having to reassess the value of their earlier actions and attitudes when under pressure from police for having planted a bomb in a building many years earlier, is an interesting one, full of possibilities. I was looking forward to seeing whether the script managed to inject life into the characters and avoid cliche in showing what the activists had subsequently done with their lives. In this respect the report is mixed. There was a now-respectable lawyer, a now-cynical entrepreneur, a mother now chained to nappies and babysitters etc, but there is also a more interesting survivor still living in a grotty flat (Til Schweiger, a dead ringer for D Beckham) whose enigmatic silence and attempt to reconnect with his sold-out ex-girlfriend (Doris Schretzmeyer) suggest greater complexity.
Unhappily, at around halfway director and script abandon the cinematic debate about their individual responses to the passing of time and their new political and material circumstances in favour of a much less compelling story about incriminating evidence and an implausible prison-breakout in reverse. The tone of the film dwindles away into sentimentality.
That's a great shame as the picture is filmed with great energy, somewhat in the manner of Run Lola Run - spiky opening credits, rapid cutting between scenes and time periods, vibrating music, several visually striking sequences, fine urban atmosphere, excellent collective acting.
The movie has a lot going for it, and I really wanted to give it **** but in the end its switch away from something ideas- and character-driven was just too disappointing.