Another one down

Not a lot of note today; went to work, came home, went sprinting in the rain, made some tea, played some Sam ‘n’ Max.

The Lives of Others is one of those films that lots of people raved about so I thought I should probably watch. I don’t mean that to sound pissy or anything as I wanted to see the film on its own merits, it’s just that a few recommendations were from the type of people who say they like to watched subtitled films and subtitles aren’t a genre. But moving on.

The film’s set in mid-eighties East Berlin and follows a member of the Stasi as he is set the task with finding dirt on a leading, socialist playwright at the behest of a crooked higher-up who wants to sleep the the playwright’s partner. All quite simple really, except the up-till-now unshakeable member of the wire tapping brigade immediately falls for the girlfriend as well and so starts to find it difficult to pass on possibly damning information which may wreck her life.

And there’s my first problem with the film; it starts off with a good central premise but without knowing much about the character, so Wiesler’s infatuation with Sieland felt a little cold. The film also ends with a horribly sentimental final scene and should have stopped sixty seconds earlier. This would have given it a much more poignant ending and I can’t help but feel that the conclusion we have was tacked on to leave the audience with something to smile about.

That said, everything that comes between these two points is excellent. A thoroughly engrossing film with brilliant performances from everyone involved. All of the leads bring an astonishing weight of emotion to the parts, especially Wiesler as he moves further from his training and his loyalties.

On reflection, I’m sure I must have missed something which would explain his change of heart. I probably need to go back and re-examine this one which, given that I watched it less than a month ago, goes to show how much I enjoyed the film. Very highly recommended.