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141. Undine; movie review

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Title : 141. Undine; movie review
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Cert 15
90 mins
BBFC advice: Contains moderate violence, sex

Perhaps I am a sucker for movies about Berlin because it is probably my favourite city in the world.
I make this comment because low-key relationship dramas usually leave me quite cold but this one between a historian and an industrial diver kept me intrigued.
Paula Beer plays the title character who lives in a small apartment near Alexanderplatz, once the heart of East Germany's capital city.
She is a freelance guide who speaks to visiting groups about the development of Berlin over the centuries.
Oh, and it turns out she is a mermaid.
Hold that thought - because, as a conventional woman she is abandoned by her lover Johannes (Jakob Matschenz) and warns him, she must kill him.
At the time, it seems like an idle threat, especially when she finds new even deeper happiness with the diver (Franz Rogowski).
She even lets herself go with him, she accompanies him on his dives.
However, the spectre of Johannes still looms large and threatens what seems to be a perfect new love match.
To be honest, I was surprised by how little of Petzgold's film is spent in the water. Indeed, for quite a while I wondered about the mermaid link at all.
Since I watched his movie, I have read up on the ancient legend of Undine -  who can only live on earth through the love of a human.
Obviously, the story was brought up to date but I am not big on allegories so if there was one, it went clear over my head.
However, I was taken with the performances of Beer and Rogowski and with the aforementioned backdrop.
Or perhaps I was just in the mood for a bit of fantasy romance.

Reasons to watch: Curious love story
Reasons to avoid: Very short on action

Laughs: None
Jumps: None
Vomit: None
Nudity: None 
Overall rating: 6.5/10

Did you know? The term Undine first appears in the alchemical writings of Paracelsus, a Renaissance alchemist and physician. Paracelsus derives the term Latin word unda, meaning "wave", and it first appears in Paracelsus' A Book on Nymphs, Sylphs, Pygmies, and Salamanders, and on the Other Spirits, published posthumously in 1658.

The final word. Christian Petzold: "With my children, I started to read fairy tales again, and I also read the story of The Little Mermaid to them. At the same time, I read a book by Peter von Matt about betrayed love in literature, where he also has a chapter on the aquatic creature Undine. He quotes the fantastic sentence, “I cried him to death.” Cineuropa


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