Tuesday, September 25, 2007

YELLA - I see wet people!

YELLA is a tightly constructed, austere German thrller co-written and directed by Christian Petzold. Fans have praised its glacial atmosphere, stark framing and convincing central performance by Nina Hoss as the eponymous heroine. They have also forced profound meaning onto a slight film. Some say it's a metaphor for the corruption of West German capitalism. Yella makes her journey into moral ambiguity when she leaves her loving father in a rural East German town. She is undone in an anonymous business park in Hannover.

While I appreciate the creation of a sinister atmosphere, I wasn't entirely convinced by this film. The parable about the journey from East to West will be lost on anyone who does not have an intimate knowledge of German geography. And the spare script has its longeurs and improbabilities and a denouement that is derivative, predictable and entirely unsatisfying.

YELLA played Berlin 2007 where Nina Hoss won the Silver Bear. It is currently on release in the UK.

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