The title is adept to the movie’s post war setting in Berlin, 1945. In the crumbles of war, trauma and hopeful pursuits’ decease the disillusioned lives of survivors while power politics is played between leaders under the garb of peace conferences. And in between falls Lena (suavely played by Cate Blanchett), the beautiful wife of a significantly wanted scientist, Emiel Brandt, who is presumed dead by all blocs. Jacob Geismar (perhaps a little less convincingly played by George Clooney) ,an American captain, journalist and Lena’s old flame, arrives on his second deputation not expecting to find her with his driver, a young and hot blooded corporal (Tobey Mc Guire). As Geismar unabashedly seeks (longs for) her, the corporal’s body is unexpectedly washed in. Only to Geismar’s curiosity, this murder means more than a mere consequence of zonal trespassing that eventually unfolds to his estranged lover, whose only goal is to survive while fulfilling a secret duty with her irresistible aura as the only means to escape.
Stephen Soderbergh cuts a classic 40’s cinematographic piece coupled with the old school background score to the full effect of nostalgic cinema. And although it may take considerable cognitive effort to gather the story together, it’s worth the rental on a lazy day or even for a collector’s piece.
Originally published in Traffic Life, a former magazine by Twenty Onwards Media Pvt. Ltd.