Revanche (2008)

Swelling possessions | 122 minutes

Movie Info


Revanche is a 2008 Austrian crime film written and directed by Götz Spielmann. The plot is deceivingly modest and extremely disturbing, which centres on the ill-fated love story between a Viennese ex-con and a Ukrainian prostitute who get involved in a bank robbery. The film was well received and had premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in February 2008. It received critical acclaim and won a number of awards, and was nominated for the 2009 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Into that preceding decree and keeping in mind the title means “Revenge” in German- The movie begins with the scene taking us to the magical place, waltzing the colours breathing the meadows in full bloom and reflection of trees in those early minutes of light streaming and the stillness of wind pause the edges of grass of an unknown lake at twilight, seeming inverse of the strange world of delusion which is then disturbed by the splish-splash of an object tossed into the middle of the lake. Spreading swells splints the dint of stillness, and a genuine sagacity of mystery sets in. Amazing insinuation of the mystic symbolizes Austrian writer-director Götz Spielmann’s inimitable visuals in this film.

Revanche is just the tip of the iceberg as the narrative leads with Alex (Johannes Krisch), an insignificant unlawful felon, working as a bouncer at the Cinderella, a brothel in Vienna. He desires and schemes to figure out to escape the mean world to a new lease of life along with his girlfriend, Tamara (Irina Potapenko) Ukrainian immigrant working there as a stripper and prostitute. The state of affairs cracks out to be serious and despairing when Tamara’s boss (Hanno Poschi) designates to move her out of the brothel and size her as a high-class call girl.

Alex decides that the only solution is to run away with Tamara on the proceeds from a bank robbery and hide out at his estranged grandfather’s (Hannes Thanheiser) rural farm, who’s an elderly farmer in a small village.  When Alex’s awkward handling of devious robbery goes in vain during the getaway and Tamara is accidentally killed by a policeman. The event irreversibly draws Alex’s fate to those couple living near his grandfather’s farm, policeman Robert (Andreas Lust) and housewife Susanne (Ursula Strauss), as he realizes that the new neighbours who’ve moved from the city to the country is the very same people who threw his life into a whirlwind.

The film conveys distinct, contrast identities of these two couples. The plea of the characters and relations are unfathomable than dramatic coincidence of the ex con and a cop, the prostitute and a housewife as the narrative weigh, conspicuous cohesions and interconnections among outwardly different people. When Robert complains of being cursed with bad luck, he echoes Alex’s earlier cry of desperation. Each of the four main characters are intricate in a form of reckoning against life’s unfairness. The story stunningly unveils the infinite dark fervors, the fears that agitate, without culminations, insane loop of defenceless sanities, the endless twist of desperations and ecstasies of brittleness round each one of them. The director Spielmann poises human philosophical quandaries and daily strife, searching for meaning from longing to having, having to holding for dear life, inches apart.

The panache of Revanche is the craft of Spielmann who creates a prevailing tinge of uncertainty from the very first shot.  The suspense throws the shimmers on the lake wherein the smooth surface is bothered by rather tumbling ripples, it’s a enchanted genera between the characters reliving four lives that are wrecked, blown up, and still possessing such strength of charm that are dismayed and at the same time utterly attractive in an enticing and forbidden way reinforce the narrative far and few in between.

The cutting-edge plot at no time is about policing arresting Alex, who’s in the face under doubt. Relatively it’s about Robert’s scruples over killing Tamara in those blind chance and disorder. The police investigation actually made about the killing that is unintended, and not about Alex taking on revenge on Robert. A great deal of the film the audience live with revolves on the relationship between Alex and Susanne, so is Robert’s guilt towards Tamara’s death, as well with the grandfather’s character of what lies at the juncture is his lonely world, the troubled place of no promise to keep and none to make is how the movie vivacities to be rather extraordinary

True the twists are spotless, thou the enigmatic visuals aren’t in the line one would anticipate and the curiosity leaves you to the end and make Revanche worth watching. In all it’s dominance of the visual over verbal- The cinematography by Martin Gschlacht, with his impressive lensing, sturdily take hold of the striking night-life of the red-light district, besides, fortes the splendour radiance of the speckled light in the forlorn backwoods of gloomy weather and of the altering seasons, quiet to the tone could see the fright on the faces onto each side to tremble and of the chances it brings for redemption and renewal.

Large parts of the film were shot in the area round Gföhl and Ottenschlag in the Waldviertel in lower Austria-Revanche is an outstanding psychological interpretation, cleverly constructed script which introduces some fresh and surprising turns of the human ordeal and feelings. The antithesis of grace is slowly drawn out over time and the films delicate pacing allows the tragedy of the situation to voice for itself. Masterfully delicate, Spielmann puts on the screen all the emotion that can ripple the last remnant of those little human spirit that insinuate lives of someone worthy of a man’s loyalty and devotion, near and felt, nevertheless untraceable into the space of no return


The Crew

Written & Directed by Götz Spielmann

Produced by Heinz Stussak; Mathias Forberg; Sandra Bohle & Götz Spielmann

Casting-Johannes Krisch; Irina Potapenko; Andreas Lust; Ursula Strauss & Hanno Pöschl

Cinematography by Martin Gschlacht

Edited by Karina Ressler

Production company-Prisma Films; Spielmann Film

Distributed by Filmladen

Release date-10 February 2008 (Berlin International Film Festival)

Run time of 122 minutes

Country: Austria

Language: German & Russian

Trailers & Videos


REVANCHE Trailer (2008) - The Criterion Collection

Swelling possessions

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