Victoria: Nauseatingly good

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Victoria:  Nauseatingly good

A young girl exits a Berlin nightclub, ready to go home after an exhausting night of dancing.   She finds four men denied entry amusing and engages them in conversation as she begins to peddle her bike home.  Hmmm…a young girl takes up with four rowdy strangers in the middle of the night.   What could possibly go wrong?  As it turns out, everything.

“Victoria” chronicles the next 2+hours in real time.  Yep.  One night.  One shot.  One take.  What starts out as innocent flirting, turns into getting to know each other and just hanging out having fun.  From the group, one guy Sonne, emerges as a potential love interest for “Victoria”.   The two share a wonderful scene as we learn Sonne is just a nice guy if not particularly special but “Victoria” is very special indeed. 

When one of the group gets a phone call, the guys soon depart on a mysterious mission to repay a favor.  Due to one of them being too drunk to carry out the plan, they enlist the all too willing “Victoria”.  As it turns out the mission is a heist.   And while everyone might not be all that willing to do the deed, they soon learn they do not have a choice.

All the actors do a wonderfully realistic job.   And I really can’t say enough good things about Laia Costa as “Victoria”.   Cute as a button, the pixie turns out to be a powerhouse of strength and cunning.  Costa goes from flirty to broken before your eyes in a seamless and dizzy performance.

Shot in Berlin, “Victoria” is a mix of broken English and German with subtitles.   With a script of only 12 pages, the dialogue is mostly improvised.   But the action to carry off a movie in one take had to be painstakingly choreographed to carry off the multiple locations and action.   From the nightclub floor, to an apartment rooftop, café and dramatic getaway chase, cinematographer Sturla Brandth Grovlen is the unseen fifth actor in this tale of a robbery on the run.  I admire the incredible job he did.   As Victoria’s eyes, he never misses a beat in a very long, grueling drum solo.

But I would be sorely remiss if I did not add that only 15 minutes into “Victoria”, I was not feeling so well.   By the end of the movie I was so green that it lasted till the next day.  Motion sickness goes hand in hand with shaky cam for me and this movie was a doozy.  If you are like me and want to see “Victoria”, I highly suggest you take Dramamine beforehand.   I sure wish I had.

“Victoria” holds up 4 Red Vines for being a fascinating film experience

Previews of movies are provided by the studios but it in no way affects my unbiased review.