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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Four local Berliners recruit a thrill-seeking Spanish woman (Laia Costa) to be their getaway driver for a bank robbery

This nerve-shredding German thriller begins in the pulsing white light of a nightclub strobe and spends the next two hours taking us on a tour of Berlin as day breaks over the city. We follow a young Spanish woman, Victoria (Laia Costa, excellent), as she falls in with a young German guy, Sonne (Frederick Lau), and his mates, who she meets outside a basement club.

It feels like one of those blissful, freewheeling, prime-of-their-lives nights: they mess around on the street, steal some beers, smoke on a rooftop. Is this a fledgling romance we’re witnessing? After 40 minutes, there’s a sparky, charged scene between Victoria and Sonne in the coffee shop where she works. It looks like they’re like falling for each other. But in a heartbeat the story takes another turn entirely when Sonne’s friend, not long out of jail, gets a phone call that means his mates – and Victoria – are in serious danger.

Did I mention that ‘Victoria’ was filmed in a single take? Director Sebastian Schipper shot the entire film three times in real time, and picked the best take. It’s an astonishing, brassy act of choreography, especially considering the film moves all over the city, with a sprawling cast of bit-players beyond the main characters.

Schipper’s cinematic stunt, assisted by a terrific score by Nils Frahm, gives the film an incredible sense of immediacy and momentum, even if it means that a few sections are slightly dragged out. Some key elements of the story feel born of the world of movies more than of the real world, but ‘Victoria’ is an extraordinary filmgoing experience, raw and exciting.

Dave Calhoun
Written by
Dave Calhoun

Release Details

  • Release date:Friday 1 April 2016
  • Duration:138 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Sebastian Schipper
  • Screenwriter:Sebastian Schipper
  • Cast:
    • Laia Costa
    • Frederick Lau
    • Franz Rogowski
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