You should see Sebastian Schipper’s Victoria as a film experiment. A failed one, but it should be seen nevertheless, mostly for its challenges. Victoria was shot in one uninterrupted take. This is not the first film to attempt it. Alfred Hitchcock tried it with Rope (in 1948), but it was not really done in one take. Alexander Sokurov’s Russian ark was like a visit to the museum and more of documentary on Russian history. Victoria’s thin plot start at 4:30 and ends at around 7 AM. Victoria (Laia Costa) is a young woman from Spain who is first seen dancing at a Berlin nightclub. As she rides her bike to work, she befriends four young men. They talk, drink beer, go on a rooftop, smoke marijuana and talk some more. Victoria seems to be getting closer to Sonne (Frederick Lau), the handsomer of the four. Sonne accompanies her to the cafe where she works. Later, Victoria’s newly acquired friends ask her to help them and she becomes the driver in a bank robbery. The remainder of the film is the aftermath of the robbery, complete with a police chase and shootout. The screenplay for Victoria was twelve page canvas. The dialogues (in English, spoken with thick German accents and German) are improvised, and lots of it are inaudible. It’s a technical challenge that requires a more controlled approach. As it is Victoria is all over the place and a bit of a mess. It gets better later on, once the film becomes about something, like a bank robbery for instance. The actors work well together. Spanish actress Laia Costa effectively conveys the careless impulsiveness of youth. A failed experiment, Victoria is still worth seeing.
Eike Frederik Schulz
In English and German with English subtitles