Cert: 15 Runtime: 138 mins Director: Sebastian Schipper Cast: Laia Costa, Frederick Lau, Franz Rogowski, Burak Yigit and Max Mauff
One City. One Night. One Take
The one take movie has come back into fashion as of late, after Birdman specifically. With all the tricks and CGI possible any film can be flawless but not actually one take! Victoria directed by Sebastian Schipper has managed to do so! He took a team out in the early hours one morning in Berlin and filmed Victoria. It was rejected by numerous film festivals because they didn’t believe the legitimacy of the one take. Move forward to 2015 Victoria won best cinematography at the Berlin film festival. So what is Victoria about? Victoria (Laia Costa), a young woman from Madrid, meets four local guys outside a nightclub in the early hours of the morning. Sonne (Frederick Lau) and his friends are Berliners who promise to show her the real side of the city. Striking up a friendship, they take to a nearby rooftop to continue the night. But when the group are suddenly forced to repay a debt to a member of the city’s criminal underworld, the night quickly spirals out of control.
Sebastian Schipper has crafted an utter masterpiece in Victoria. I haven’t had an experience like this for some time now. Honestly I could have stayed and watched it again! It felt so organic and natural, you felt like you were the sixth person through out the film. We have no major stars here and the chemistry between Laia Costa and Frederick Lau really warms your heart, I was cheering them on for the whole run time. You are part of each choice Victoria makes, I loved the concept of each time a decision was made a cross road was there! It did feel like a lot of natural light was used through out, it really enriches the organic feel of the film. The opening scene at the club got me hooked from the start. Victoria was such an interesting character, you question why she was there by herself? why is she in Berlin? is she lonely? etc. The first hour of the film is such an old Hollywood structure, we learn about the people and we get to know them better. In all honesty if it was just us following them around Berlin I would of still enjoyed it. The dialogue between the cast is so natural, they feel like old friends sometimes.
Then you move onto the robbery and the third act, this becomes tense and thrilling. You really don’t know how it will end. Laia Costa gives a fantastic performance as the title role, her naivety gets the best of her. But you sympathize with her, as it seems her loneliness in the big city got the best of her. As mentioned her chemistry with Sonne is just great and it really does drive the film forward. You are there with her until the end and you just want her to survive the night. Frederick Lau gave a very Tom Hardy performance, he is the lovable rogue that you can empathize with. He just wanted some fun and things turn upside down very quickly. Franz Rogowski and Burak Yigit give some much needed comic relief and tension to the piece. This was some great casting of fresh young actors and I truly hope to see more of them in the coming years. Don’t let the runtime of Victoria deter you from watching it. It’s truly a gripping tale of love, crime and survival. As I wouldn’t necessarily call it a heist movie, it’s truly a thriller and probably one of the greatest thrillers of the 21st century. So far Victoria is the best film I have seen in 2016!