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David Andernach (Mads Mikkelsen) lives non-chalantly at the height of his success as a painter, as a tragic misfortune befalls him from one second to the other. While he is paying his beautiful neighbor a visit, his daughter Leonie drowns in the pool of his house. Tormented by guilt, David turns into a wreck. His life is no longer under control, especially since his wife Maja (Jessica Schwarz) can never forgive him. Completely at the end he wants to kill himself jumping in the same pool, but at the last moment is saved by a friend. But as the guilt-ridden man has fallen in the greatest despair, a butterfly flapping on his nose leads him to a door, actually more an underground tunnel. On the other side he finds life as it was before. He gets back to the all-important moment and so given the opportunity to save his daughter. But even with his own ego, which is just on the road to regret his infidelity. Conscious as never before of those who have always loved him, the auspicious ... Written by
The film was set intentionally in no specific city or country so the story could take place in any Northern European city (the exterior shots were filmed mostly in Potsdam, Germany). This is recognizable by the fact that the vehicle licence plates have no format used in the EU, the uniforms of the police officers are just plain black and the police car has no markings. See more »
A gripping and philosophical drama with a multitude of influences
This movie is easily the best German movie I have seen in the last three years. It is a haunting and atmospheric drama with some science-fiction elements, an eerie touch of suspense and even psychological horror as well as some action scenes. This flick has also a strong philosophical character without being too educative. The gripping question of fate and morality may affect you way beyond this movie and I thought about this intense film many days after I have watched it first.
Normally, I hardly give elevated ratings but everything feels right about the movie. The acting of the movie is simply great. Let's point out that Mads Mikkelsen is playing the role of his life and proves once again that he is a great actor that is able to improve every time again and again. He is amongst my favourite actors now. There are many promising German actors that are delivering more than solid jobs here.
The scenario of this movie is based on a novel and filled with complex actions, cliffhangers and twists, just like a great book. I am really looking forward to read the novel now and though I can't yet compare both, I feel that the movie was intense, detailed and diversified. What I really find fascinating is that the movie, even though the main plot is based on a fictional idea that one could associate to a science-fiction or fantasy movie, the whole flick seems real, authentic and down to earth. The mixture is unique and credible. The movie is not about a magic door that leads to the past or present. This little and only fantastic detail helps to kick the whole story off and one is quickly face to face with situations that mix dreams and reality, wishes and deceptions, hopes and despairs so that one doesn't care about whether the introduction is not fitting or too unreal. This movie is not about something exactly supernatural, it's a lot about the true human character and its ideologies and behaviours.
The movie has what I consider a perfect structure, it slowly introduces the main characters and creates more and more a creepy atmosphere with some weird, surprising and shocking scenes that lead to a dramatic, emotional and action filled ending. You really get drowned into the whole story and feel with the characters.
The way the movie is filmed is full of details and the angels and close ups add a lot to the atmosphere of the film. The movie score underlines the incredible and creative story that starts as a drama and ends as a psychological thriller that is more intense than many horror flicks.
I highly recommend this brilliant and explosive mixture that touches your heart, your nerves and your brain. Spread the word about this rather unknown European flick that should gain worldwide attention as it has now come out in North America and the rest of the world.
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