The dishonorably discharged Afghanistan veteran Thomas returns to his home village of Jerichow. Ali, a local Turkish-German businessman, owner of a snack-bar chain, hires him as a driver. That’s when Thomas meets Laura, his Turkish boss’s young and attractive wife. A classic love triangle is born
Set in the eponymous, impoverished hamlet of the erstwhile East, the film is a spare, smart reworking of James M. Cain’s paradigmatic (and frequently adapted) 1934 noir novel, The Postman Always Rings Twice.
Les racines même de cette intangible et classique trinité, le mari, la femme et l'amant, ne sont pas, comme à son habituel échafaudage scénaristique, nourries de la passion amoureuse ou du désir concupiscent, mais bien de l'argent, de la solitude financière, des dettes accumulées et des lendemains économiques qui déchantent... www.cinefiches.com
If only Ali had considered the economic implications of his employees' morale as carefully as he did the finer points of fuel economy, some of this would never have happened. Most of it still would have. A minor point. Jerichow is a handsome but redundant film. The changes it rings on Cain are insufficient to make the story compelling in a new, site-specific way, and its plot-driving passion is too pale a fire.
Great portraiture of internalized racism and other stereotypes. H. Sözer's character is very interesting; he appears to be a small, unrefined, inveterate, pain-in-the-ass man, only to reveal himself as a very composed, intelligent person later on, wittier than it was expected. N. Hoss's character is a plain canvas here, amorphous and diluted. Distinctive industrial zone scenaries, warehouses and trucks.
3.5 Petzold meets Fassbinder in this post-mélo where love affairs are releated with disposable income and social position. In fact, in tears, she says to him: «You can't love, if you don't have money.»
Too self consciously arty. In the end the characterizations are paper thin and the whole thing comes to a big snooze. A little facial expression and some judicious editing would help move it along. Tedious.
It is not for me to say how some reviewers may be missing some of the points of this film--but I myself was shocked at how, upon reflecting on the film after it was over, I realized I had been rooting for the dishonorable people all along. None of the characters are saints, but some have more integrity than others.
7.5/10. Hugely interesting characters. Their exact back stories are unclear. Petzold often does that. He thinks much of the back information more standardly conveyed in scripts is unnecessary. I like that approach and the way it avoids clichés. Here, it also works to suspenseful effects. This is the most straightforwardly narrative Petzold film I know. A chamber play set by the Baltic Sea.