Far from an accomplishment in cinematography, to call it such is an insult not only to cinematographers that I know personally, living and working in Berlin, but cinematographers globally. It’s an achievement in logistics at best. A two and a half hour long cop-out dragged on by the most trivial and awfully contrived ‘story’ proudly penned (according to closing credits) by three individual minds… Three people. Three.
A pitiful excuse just to produce a film that carries the slogan “One Girl. One City. One Night. One Take.” – Still, ignoring the buzz surrounding the film’s form, ‘Victoria’ carries no artistic or intellectual merit or ideas, (despite the fact the first ninety minutes consist simply of dialogue between five young people, an obvious opportunity to explore something … anything … please), nor does it contain or use base level ‘standards’ or techniques to entertain the audience, build suspense or create empathy (or even sympathy) for the characters – of course, except the ‘dream of being a pianist’ weep story.
While hoping for better, I, as most other people, accept, for the most part, that many films are made for pure entertainment and financial gain, with a lack of awareness or questioning that one expects from cinema – this may never change and we can only try and produce in contrast. But the standard of ‘Victoria’ goes below that. It is neither visually exceptional, emotionally enthralling nor intellectually stimulating. It is neither entertaining, interesting nor stylish. It serves no purpose in the landscape of cinema, except, perhaps, as a painfully ‘zeitgeisty’ portrait of contemporary Berlin – until that part when (spoiler) they’re all forced to snort ‘something white’ by a mob leader who’s only crime is being distastefully clichéd, then they rob a bank, then go back to the club which is just so … Berlin? … and Polizei … and guns … and plastic bags containing thousands of Euro and …
I’m left ashamed and confused if this is what we, as audiences and filmmakers, hold up as progressive cinema, a cultural achievement or even just entertainment. Would’ve worked better as a comedy.