The Princess and The Warrior
2001 - Tom Tykwer - 129 mins - Germany
Fri 18 Oct 2002 at 8.30pm
Joyce's Lounge, Tuamgraney, Co. Clare
Cast: Franke Potente, Benno Furmann, Joachim Krol
Storyline: Sissi (Franka Potente) works as a nurse in a psychiatric ward that is the modern day equivalent of One Flew Over the Cockoo's Nest. She has no personal life, as she spends most of her time, both awake and asleep, at the hospital. When she leaves works she simply walks down the hall to her room where she spends her time off.
We know Sissi has a latent desire for a meaningful relationship with a man when she gives a hand job to patient Steini (Lars Rudolph) so he can calm his mind and go to sleep. This may be an example of what President Clinton was trying to say about the difference between sexual contact and a sexual relationship. To Sissi, assisting Steini with masturbation was the equivalent of giving him his meds.
Things are going along in a day to day boring routine until Sissi gets a letter from a relative, which requires that she go into town to open a safe deposit box. She takes a blind patient, Otto (Melchior Beslon), with her and when the police are chasing a man through traffic, Sissi is hit by a car. This sequence provides both gripping tension and amazing photography, which is quite simplistic. As she lies on the ground, Bodo (Benno Furmann), the man being chased, performs a life saving procedure.
Almost two months later, Sissi is released from the hospital and returns to work at the mental institution. Wanting to thank the man who saved her life, she goes on a quest with Otto, who has excellent use of his other senses because of his blindness, and they find Bodo. The problem is that Bodo and his brother Walter (Joachim Krol) are planning to rob the bank where he works, which is also the location of the safe deposit box.
A series of events converge as the crime unfolds that result in the deaths of some and a profound change for Franka and others. While somewhat reminiscent of Run Lola Run with its action scenes, this film has less non-stop action and more dialogue with character development.
You are probably aware of the prior film directed by Tykwer starring Franka Potente, Run Lola Run. The Princess and the Warrior is similar in that it looks at how fate affects our lives. Both films deal with the aftermath…the future rather than the past. You become more aware of the incidental things that happen in your everyday life and how you react to them, or not. These things affect the rest of your life, be they small or large events.
Verdicts from the Midnight Court