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Revanche is a rarity: a film for grown-ups

Posted at 8:49 AM on June 5, 2009 by Euan Kerr

It's one of the sad wonders of living in the Midwest that sometimes it still takes months for movies to get here (and I write this in full knowledge there are many communities in Minnesota where you will never be able to see anything but a big studio movie at the local picture palace.)

The Oscars are long come and gone, but now we are finally getting theatrical runs of the some nominees for best foreign language film.

The Austrian movie "Revanche" is well worth the wait. It's been some months since I saw the film for the first time, courtesy of the Beyond Borders Festival, and I can truly say it's a movie that sticks with you.

It begins as the story of Alex, a man who works as a handyman in a Viennese brothel decides to help his girlfriend Tamara, who works there, escape. He imagines a much better life for them both.

It's a case of the road to hell being paved with good intentions, because things go wrong triggering a series of unintended consequences. It leads to Alex looking for revenge.

Director Götz Spielmann has created a tense little world where seemingly unconnected people and things are in reality deeply and inextricably linked.

Alex's task is to work out what is really happening, which is far from easy.

This is a deeply satisfying film, and if you enjoy a good brain-twisting thriller it should be on you list of "must sees."

June 2009
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