Victoria Review

Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 8.18.12 PM An experience like no other, Victoria has really good performances, is amazingly shot, but does feel both excessive with the story its trying to portray and its over two-hour runtime. Victoria feels more like documented heist or a mesh of human moments meshed with choreographed misadventures brought about by a heist gone wrong. Like Mary and Max, I wasn’t captivated by Victoria and found myself checking my watch or falling asleep for the majority of this film’s fist segment. With that said, I believe you could have started this film with Victoria and Sonne going to the cafeteria and easily, cutting out about fifty minutes out and making it equally as impactful. Or, another option would be to improve your script, because unlike the conversations in a Linklater film which feel natural and caught-in-the-moment, there are many snippets of dialogue that feel awkward once said like a scene in which Victoria comments on the drunkenness of one of the characters in a very cutesy, trying-to-be-funny tone while Boxer is infuriated and going berserk, which just illustrates a perfect picture on unbalanced tone and makes you go, should she have said that. With all that said, the real reason Victoria is getting its well-deserved attention is because of its insane over two-hours one-take method of shooting and the accomplishment that that represents, making Sturla Brandth Grøvlen (cinematographer) this film’s true lead and hero as he was able to pull this off unflinchingly as he maneuvered through raves, shoot outs, and a heist getaway. Something that also really struck me from the starting point as Victoria exits the club and emerges into the Berlin night-sky is the lighting, probably the best lighting in any film this year and something that kept surprising me  as Grøvlen as he moved his camera from one side to the other to be greeted with perfect lighting. Then there’s the acting which feel short at times, but was still incredibly impressive once you consider a lot of it was improvised since they couldn’t stop filming once they started, but I must say, Frederick Lau, wow. From early on, Frederick Lau steals every scene he’s in, he makes everything feel so much more real, he makes Victoria feel more real, and he makes their relationship feel so much more real. As for our Spanish protagonist, Victoria, though annoyed by her decision to follow these guys around in the beginning and the fact that her performance was very subdued through most of the film and it is really until the end that she really shows off her talent I was okay with her performance and would call it a good one. In the end, sharing some of that Run Lola Run air, with commendable acting, great camerawork and a really unbearably slow beginning, Victoria gets a 57 out of 100.

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