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SIFF 2011 Movie Review - 3

This film is very difficult to categorize, which is both appropriate and ironic, since the theme of the film as a whole appears to be how as human beings we label, categorize, and apply rules to our lives, believing that we need them in order to live. But in the end often these very labels, categories and rules are used against us - to hurt and shame and deprecate - sometimes even by ourselves against ourselves. A long-term couple fall into uncertain times and as a result are brought even closer together. However, at the same time they ironically also find themselves attracted to another man, the same man, each pursuing him in secret outside of their relationship with all of the parties involved none the wiser, both literally and figuratively. Initially as I was watching I found myself trying to figure out which filmmaking niche this film fit into, what it was about, and found myself casting about helplessly. It was about everything, really - life and death and love and choices and work and play and... and.. and. As a result it was starting to feel like it was about nothing in particular, becoming simply a slice of life film, a dissection of three people and the people in their lives. Then, like a light switch, it suddenly turned into a romantic comedy of errors, complete with the perfect musical score, comedic timing, and cleverly witty cinematography. Not that the film up until this point was not good, merely unspecific and unclassifiable. And even this recognizable moment did not last, but it did feel like the 'ah-ha!' moment, the point from which the dilemma has been put forward and the rest of the film as a result pulls together and becomes unified. The very final scene felt a little cheesy and contrived compared to deliciously wry, direct, and honest approach of the rest of the film, but as a whole I found it quite enjoyable and entertaining and a good reminder that love comes in many forms and we should consider carefully before judging either ourselves or others. U.S. Distributor: Strand Releasing Germany, 2010 (104 minutes) Director: Tom Tykwer Cast: Sophie Rois, Sebastian Schipper, Devid Striesow Festival Screenings: 7:00 PM Fri, May 20 Neptune Theatre 1:30 PM Sat, May 21 Neptune Theatre

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