The Lives Of Others

This Oscar winner German film gives you a beautiful and immersive human story wrapped as a thriller with a political backdrop.

Cast – Ulrich Muhe, Sebastian Koch, Martina Gedeck, Ulrich Tukur

Writer/Director – Florian Henckel Von Donnermarck

Plot

The plot opens to 1984 East Germany under a repressive communist regime.

Weisler (Muhe) is a stern Stasi officer, adept at interrogation and spying and lives an extremely lonely and drab life. Dreyman (Koch) is a famous playwright who is loyal to the regime but has a circle of artist friends some of whom are not. He lives a colourful artistic life with his girlfriend actress Christa Maria (Gedeck).

Wiesler is entrusted with the job of spying on Dreyman to check on his political leanings.

Despite constant surveillance and a personal peek into his life, Wiesler finds nothing against Dreyman and finds no reason to continue spying.

But things might not be that simple when elements like personal rivalry, professional ambition, blackmail and oppression are at play. Circumstances and situations that sometimes life throws can surprisingly alter people’s way of thinking and course of life.

Watch this beautiful human story of how lives of two completely contrasting men converge and alters their destinies.

Analysis

The film is supremely gripping right from the word go. It’s not just the instinctive curiosity about what’s ahead but also the intense emotional connect that the characters gradually evoke.

The writer manages to portray a very human and insightful image of his well etched characters. The central leads and performances, specially by Ulrich Muhe is nothing short of superb.

The makers can be lauded for creating the authentic look and feel of the period. The beige frames, the dull interiors enhance the claustrophobic feel which is more symbolic considering the oppressive totalitarian regime and the heart wrenching helplessness of people.

The film gives a poignant peep into the scarily oppressive period and how desires, fears, ethos, principles and morality play under such circumstances.

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