Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Lives of Others

What a touching film.

This is was one of those Netflix movies that had been sitting on my t.v. stand for months. I was just never in the mood for a German language film set in the eighties in East Germany. And really - who ever is? I had even started it once, got about 45 minutes in, and fell asleep. High praise, I know.

But trust me, give it a shot. It really is lovely. Admittedly, it has a slow start and our protagonist takes some warming up to. But the plotting is so intricate, the character motivations so complex, it's well worth the watch.

I suspect it was on my Netflix queue in the first place because it won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film a few years back - and it was well deserved.

The story centers on a man in the Stasi, the State Police of East Germany who monitored all the rebellious thinkers back in the day. He's a master interrogator, he can spot a liar from a mile off, and he knows how to catch the guys on the other side. His transformation and the consequences of his choices are a delight to watch unfold.

Honestly, there is a lot of heart in this film despite what you might think in the first hour. If you aren't afraid of subtitles, I highly highly recommend The Lives of Others.