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5 stars I'll not regret

  • Nov 28, 2007
  • by
Rating:
+5
Having never heard of this movie a week ago, I stumbled onto it and am so thankful for dumb luck. It's not often I find myself obsessing over a movie rental but that's what happened here. 3 viewings and wanting more, at the very least I'll rent this again soon. In the end, I'll buy it on dvd. I wish I could have had a chance to see it in a theater. A quiet, textural movie filled with subtle shadings and emotional color where there is little visual color, The Lives of Others gets deeper every time you see it. You pick up on one more slight gesture or one more hint of something real.

I strongly recommend seeing it at least twice. Being subtitled, the first time you watch it you'll naturally be spending a fair amount of time reading it. Try as you might, you'll still miss certain aspects of the performances of these actors. Of special note is Wiesler...Ulrich Mühe... the quiet, ominous Stasi man. I don't question the performances of anyone else in the film, but for me, Ulrich Mühe is the one. This performance and the internal dialog of this character is riveting. He is a perfect book that you don't want to put down even though it's 4am and you have to be up in 3 hours. I've never been to acting school, I haven't seen much theater, and I've never tried to make a movie... heck I've never owned a video camera, but Mühe meets my own personal definition of genius when it comes to acting. I don't even perceive him as acting... I watch this film and I perceive him as being. As IS.

This is my favorite new movie I've seen in quite some time. Whereas the last movie I reviewed (Electric Shadows) touched me in a way I can only describe as engaging sentimentality, The Lives of Others is the opposite, and a much stronger film in every way. If someone didn't like Shadows, I could understand that. They'd probably be disliking the very things I liked. This movie though, it's tough for me to think of any adult not being drawn into it.

With no sentimentality or feeling of being forced, Others manages to move along with a stoic tenacity where, possibly, one may see that art need not imitate life when it can rise above it.

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More The Lives of Others reviews
review by . July 01, 2011
A sad, thoughtful and redemptive film
"Did you know that there are just five types of artists? Your guy, Dreyman, is a Type 4, a 'hysterical anthropocentrist.' Can't bear being alone, always talking, needing friends. That type should never be brought to trial. They thrive on that. Temporary detention is the best way to deal with them. Complete isolation and no set release date. No human contact the whole time, not even with the guards. Good treatment, no harassment, no abuse, no scandals, nothing they could write about …
review by . October 06, 2010
   Auteur Florian Henckle von Donnersmarck created The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen). Surveillance plays a huge role in this film weighing in at a bit over 2 hours. From time to time, the film can be as stagnant as endless surveillance. However . . .      The film is set principally from the middle of 1984 through the beginning of 1985 in East Germany (DDR, or GDR depending on your language of acronym). The Lives of Others is the tale of one member of the …
review by . September 03, 2009
A brilliant film about life in East Berlin, under the GDR, German Democratic Republic, before reunification. It reminds me of my time in Poland and East Berlin before the Wall fell. Love the dated fashion. The story, the writing, the acting, the relevance rank very high. It's so worth viewing.
review by . June 03, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
American college campuses overflow with devotees of Communism. The media are loaded with people who think Che Guevera was a hero and that the United States was wrong for resisting Communism.'     And then along comes a movie like "The Lives Of Others". Yes, it is a dramatization. No, the Stasi did not lavish two or more full time agents on a relatively minor dissident like the playwright here, Georg Dreyman. Yes, Communist bureaucrats did destroy the lives of others, as the Minister …
review by . January 11, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Brilliant story, brilliant way of telling it      Cons: Might be too slow and subtle for a casual viewer      The Bottom Line: 30 words aren't enough. If you are a movie fan willing to pay attention to a deliberate, slow pace, then you should enjoy this film.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot.      Auteur Florian Henckle von Donnersmarck created The Lives …
review by . September 17, 2007
This is a well-made, very well-acted movie. As a personal bonus to me, the German was Hochdeutsch enough for me to understand it. I was moved to fears and tears by moments of it. However, it is significantly flawed by unrealism of a Hollywood sort not far from James Bond or 24. The bugging of the writer's apartment, during a couple hours of absence, could not have been anything like the hi-tech system shown in the movie. I traveled in East Germany before the Fall of the Wall, and I worked in both …
review by . August 25, 2007
Das Leben der Anderen (The Live of Others) is a powerful film that opens a window to the West of what life was like in East Germany during the time of the Berlin Wall. It is a tense yet balanced work by newcomer writer and director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck who manages to present a tense story of espionage, suspense, intrigue, and political danger without the need for car chases, explosions, gunfire, or any of the usual accoutrements that pulse through other stories of this nature. Instead …
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Ranked #198
Finally I am busy being born instead of busy dying.
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