The Bold and the Beautiful

The Princess and the Warrior

Warrior (Germany)

Directed by Tom Tykwer

(Franka Potente, Benno Furmann, Melchior Beslon, Marita Breuer)

Rated: R

German w/ English subtitles

 

From the director/actress pair behind 1999’s Run Lola Run comes The Princess and the Warrior, the story of a physically sheltered woman, Sissi (Franka Potente), and an emotionally trapped man, Bodo (Benno Furmann), who saves her life.

Potente masters the shy girl’s walk and talk as Sissi, a young woman whose world is dictated by her job as a caretaker at a psychiatric asylum. The institution has been Sissi’s home since childhood when her mother was electrocuted there in a bath tub. Sissi says that her father is one of the residents in the asylum, but his identity is (irritatingly) never made clear.

With the great number of psychological and metaphysical issues in the movie, the viewer would do him/herself a disservice to get hung up on this detail. Almost all other questions that arise about the characters’ pasts are answered in the end – a textured plot with a tightly wrapped finale.

After Bodo saves Sissi’s life by resuscitating her as she lay under the truck she was hit by, Sissi feels fated to be with the small-town thief (who does justice to a Lola-esque running scene). And though Bodo (who still feels guilt over the comic-tragic death of his wife) literally pushes her away, Sissi naïvely pursues him to the point where it is painful to watch.

Sissi is right – they are meant to be together, and though this ending can be forseen through both the story’s structure and the movie’s trailer, the struggle that the characters go through is worth the predictable ending.

Because there’s a bank robbery, a straight jacket, exploding gas stations and a great roof-jump thrown in the mix, the film can’t be dismissed for its artsy pace.

The camera’s patience with the characters may irritate the average American attention span, but those who aren’t disadvantaged with this handicap are rewarded. If the pace of Princess were faster, the visceral feeling provided by its lush sounds (think crunching, wet grass) and arresting close-ups would be lost.

-Monica LaBelle

 

The Princess and the Warrior opens today at the Landmark’s Lagoon Cinema.