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Revanche

My knowledge of Austrian cinema is confined to two films - and I'm not sure The Sound Of Music really qualifies.

So that leaves Revanche, an Oscar nomination a couple of years ago for Best Foreign Language Film and evidence perhaps that there's more to the country than large families of singing children.

Revanche is nominally a thriller - and ex-con plots revenge on the policeman who (unwittingly?) shot his girlfriend in the aftermath of a bank heist - but a very European thriller: the pace is slow and it is the strength of the characterisation that bears the weight of the suspense rather than the plot.

Alex is an ex-con who works in a Viennese brothel, dreaming of escaping to a better life in Ibiza with Tamara, a Ukrainian prostitute. To fund his plans, he carries out a bank robbery, which results in Tamara being shot dead by a policemen who accidentally stumbles on the getaway car.

Brokenhearted Alex withdraws to his father's farm (where he does a lot of chopping wood) and buries his grief in the arms of his next-door neighbour even as he plans to avenge Tamara's death.

Anyone expecting car chases will be disappointed, but if you are looking for greater subtlety, moral complexity and the genuine suspense of not knowing what the protagonist will do when he gets the policeman in his sights, then this is well worth a watch.

Click here to buy or rent Revanche from Amazon/LoveFilm

Tags: films
Posted on 12th May 2011 by Hush

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