Undine – 6.8

More style than substance, Christian Petzold’s fourth film was a disappointment after his remarkable earlier trio of Barbara, Phoenix and Transit. The title plus a Wikipedia search clued you in to the possible water-spriteness of the female lead (the excellent Paula Beer), but the myth in question didn’t track the plot, nor was it clear why Undine was alternately at home in the water and almost drowning. Her on-land docent tours of architectural Berlin likewise may have constituted a subplot for savvy Germans but was lost over here. In short, there was little to take away beyond a conventional love story (and for that you had to believe in the appeal of Franz Rogowski’s commoner character) and the pleasure of watching a well made film.

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