Psychiatric nurse Sissi (Franka Potente) is hit by a truck, saved by a stranger on the run from the police – and fascinated by the notion that perhaps it was fate bringing him into her life. She tracks him down, to find that Bodo (Benno Fürmann) is also running from his own demons and shuns her. When Bodo and his brother Walter (Joachim Krol) attempt to rob a bank, Sissi again crosses his path, this time with dramatic consequences. A letter from a distant friend plays a key role in this crucial encounter.
 

3.5
At times this requires a leap of faith into unreality, or surreality but, maybe, life is like that now.

The title sounds like the latest Hong Kong historical actioner. In fact it is another strange crime caper from German director Tom Tykwer. Tykwer’s growing reputation mainly rests upon two films. One was Winter Sleepers (1997), a creepy, snow-bound thriller. The other was Run Lola Run (1998). Lola had great kinetic energy and lots of inventive moments and of course, the central indefatigable performance from rising star Franka Potente. This film is like a cross between those two former efforts.


The plot has two strands. Sissi (Potente) is an over-committed psych nurse. In her Cuckoos Nest-style white-walled ward she is the object of every male patient’s desire. Seemingly unable to resist any entreaty, she even overshoots her duty of care to the extent of giving night time hand relief to a patient who loves her.


Into this already crazy life, stumbles a handsome bank robber. Sissi invites him to hide out in her psych ward (as you would) thereby providing the crucible for the explosive ending.


Tykwer can be tricksy, even 'postmodern’, but he also wants to gets to grips with alienation in present day Germany. At times this requires a leap of faith into unreality, or surreality but, maybe, life is like that now.


Potente continues to grow. Her sleepy-eyed charm and wonderful naturalness in front of the camera anchors the film and gives us the vital point of entry into this alienated world.


Filmink 3.5/5