Review

Director Tom Tykwer first came to world-wide attention with his astonishing and electric hit Run Lola Run, also starring, like The Princess and the Warrior, the punkishly blonde Franka Potente. Here she plays Sisi, a soothing and expert nurse in a mental institution, where she is adored by her patients. One day while walking with one her blind patients, she is hit by a truck whose driver was yelling at Bodo (Benno Fürmann) hanging off the back of it. Bodo, a troubled young ex-soldier who cries often and inexplicably, performs an emergency tracheotomy on Sisi and disappears. The recovered Sisi tracks him down but he violently rebuffs her, as he and his brother are planning a heist on a local bank.Circumstance dictates that these three are thrown together, and they are, in a heart stopping cycle of suspense.

Benno Fürman as Bodo shows a chameleon-like ability to shift from a fearful, almost simpleminded creature to a man of supreme confidence. He is remarkably good-looking (along Brad Pitt lines), prettier than Potente in fact, and it will be interesting to note if he will be snatched up and styled by Hollywood as our next leading man. Tykwer is unusual as a director. He excells with the edgy, quick-cut focus on violence that has been so popular since Tarantino, but Tykwer directs Potente and Fûrman's close-ups with a lingering eye. His story, while frightening, is ultimately one of the redemptive power of love, and is strong, warm and human, laced with bright threads of humour. Each of the supporting characters is well-rounded and substantial. Tykwer is obviously working with a theatrically trained cast here, a refreshing change from many North American film's pap characterizations. Like the impromptu scene when everyone in the institution starts to dance, The Princess and the Warrior often, as a film, simply breaks into song.



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