Friday, February 09, 2007

Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others)

Last night I saw Das Leben der Anderen, starring Sebastian Koch and Martina Gedeck.

What a fantastic film.

Koch portrays playright Georg Dreyman who is targeted by the Stasi (East German Secret Police) in an effort to remove him so one of their lead henchman can have Christa-Maria Sieland, a successful stage actress, all to himself.

The captain assigned to their surveillance, Gerd Wiesler (brilliantly played by Ulrich Muhe), is at first a stereotypical yes-man to his superiors, but soon becomes almost infatuated with the couple and questions his own Stasi loyalty.

What develops is a thrilling guessing game of "Who's-on-who's side?" that leads to a nailbiting climax and fulfilling conclusion.

Overall, it's a suspenseful, funny, sexy adventure illustrated by excellent writing and perfectly-cast actors. It feels authentic throughout, and although not based on truth, could've easily happened in mid-80s East Germany.

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