• James Rutherford

'Victoria': A Superb German Thriller Shot in One Single 138-Minute Take


Movie poster for the German film Victoria starring Laia Costa and Frederick Lau

“Victoria” (2015) is an utterly superb German thriller about a young Spanish woman swept up in a dangerous plot alongside four German men she chances to meet one night at a Berlin nightclub. Shot in one single, continuous take for the entire 138-minute running time, “Victoria” is a stunning technical achievement enshrouded in palpable tension and suspense.

With this, his 4th feature film, writer/director Sebastian Schipper has crafted something special, balancing patient chemistry-building between Victoria (Laia Costa) and Sonne (Frederick Lau), growing atmospheric tension, and ultimately frenetic, edge-of-your-seat action. Costa and Lau really work well together, with a nice cross-cultural magnetism that plays out intriguingly along the course of the storyline. Shipper and cinematographer Sturla Brandth Grøvlen give the film a great midnight-to-dawn (and then some) aura in and around the Kreuzberg and Mitte neighborhoods of Berlin, and the actors do an impressive job of improvising most of the dialogue throughout.

It may be nearly impossible to imagine how an entire film could be successfully plotted out, choreographed and shot without stoppage for over 2 hours without error, and yet it all comes off utterly seamlessly. In fact it only took the cast and crew 3 takes to get their final product. A remarkably ambitious and exceptional cinematic accomplishment.

 

View the trailer: