What if you went on vacation, woke up and found yourself trapped behind a wall? Not a blockage of the mind or baggage from unsettled past relationships, but an actual invisible but tangible wall? Such is the plight of the lead female character in the lush looking German import "The Wall," a strange yet sweeping tale that feels like Merchant-Ivory meets David Lynch – unique indeed.
Looking for a weekend getaway, an unnamed woman heads out with her friends Hugo and Louise and their trusty dog Lynx to a lodge in the gorgeous Austrian mountains. But upon awaking the next morning, she sees she’s alone. Wondering outside and down the road, she notices she’s very much alone and soon she finds out why. She’s bumps firmly into an invisible wall that now surrounds her and has her held captive inside. Where did this wall come from? Where is everyone else? And what effect will being trapped like a caged animal have on the psyche of the now frail woman who has only pets as her constant companions?
There are a million questions posed within "The Wall" and all have complex and intricate answers that can also be left up to interpretation. Like a gloriously captivating rubik's cube with many sides and colors, "The Wall" is addictive for sure and holds attention even amidst a seemingly closed off premise. Not to mention that the lavish landscapes and picturesque setting lives and breathes in stark contrast to the almost jail like setting of "The Wall." It’s a contradiction that’s utterly fascinating to watch and adds another character to a film that’s essentially about a one person’s journey into nothingness. Not that leading lady Martina Gedeck needs the help, as her riveting performance – both in physical silence and voice over-narration that works – is the heart, soul and even conscience of "The Wall." As the films’ single sullen person, Gedeck portrays all the colors of the emotional gamut rainbow expected from someone in such an untenable predicament and it’s a sight to be seen. (In fact between her and the Kubrick-like setting I don’t know which is more breathtaking!)
"The Wall" is not going to be for everyone, as like a good book (which the film was originally taken from) it’s not afraid to take its time. But for those looking for an original tale of isolation, self-exploration and what makes us as human beings tick, "The Wall" is innovative work at it’s best - isolation has never looked so engaging.
"THE WALL" OPENS IN SELECT THEATERS JUNE 14 FROM MUSIC BOX FILMS.
Title: "The Wall"
Cast: Martina Gedeck, Wolfgang M. Bauer, Ulrike Beimpold
Director: Julian Polsler
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 108 Minutes
Release Company: Music Box Films