Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Lives of others

Nothing is sacred , nothing is private .

Set in 1984 , when the East German secret police - the Statsi didn't believe in privacy and monitored the country's population, Lives of others directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck won the best foreign film Oscar for 2007 .
The movie's plot revolves around the Statsi captain Wiesler ( Ulrich Muhe ) who is entrusted with spying on Georg Dreyman , a playwright by profession and suspiciously loyal to the government . The cultural minister Hemf wants Dreyman out of the way since he lusts Dreyman's girlfriend actress Chirsta Maraia . Weisler engulfed by the lives of these others , begins to internalize their lives since he doesn't have a life of his own . There he crosses the line and everything is personal from there on .

The premise is so rooted in the pre-wall Germany , but the actions , repercussions and the way the move unfolds sucks you into submission immaterial of the language and the setting .

Its a movie of silences, Weisler is all alone and doesn't have a soul to talk to given the secret nature of his job. There are no monologues helping us decipher what is going through in his head and the decisions he makes . The ending when it does come , makes his "meaningless" existence , worthwhile and leaves us rooting for the film . A must watch.

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