Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Steven Soderbergh's The Good German

The Good German is a film about Americans in Berlin just after the Second World War. George Clooney is a reporter who gets mixed up in international intrigue that has to do with concentration camps and the Nazis' attempt to build rocket missiles. The film is based on Joseph Kanon's novel, but I haven't read that one; Kanon is well-respected, though.

I saw a comment somewhere that this just isn't Casablanca. I don't think that's an apt comparison, since this is far more brutal and cynical than Casablanca. True, Soderbergh uses a very stylish technique that brings back images of film noir and the Expressionistic films of the thirties, with their back-projections and dark shadows. But this is still something else than Casablanca, a look into a dark world that almost entirely abandons the romanticism of Casablanca. This is more noir than Casablanca ever was.

That said I must admit that The Good German didn't win me over totally. It's still far more about style than content. Especially the end left me pretty cold, even though the big revelation comes at the last minute. It has something to do with the fact that Cate Blanchett's character never comes as alive as one would like her to be. (There are conflicting opinions in the IMDb I provided above.)

No comments: