Berlin Syndrom [Movie Review]


Clare (Teresa Palmer), an architect photography is traveling through Eastern Europe to take photos of building when she meets Andi (Max Riemelt) in Berlin, who is a native Berliner and a professor at Uni (a university). They immediately hit it off. Clare ends up having a one night stand with Andi at his apartment. When she awakes the next morning she finds Andi has left (for work) and the door boarded with no way out. Clare doesn’t think much about it but still tries to find a way out. But it doesn’t take Clare long to realize she’s gotten her self in quite a fix. She also learns later in the movie that she’s not the only one Andi has done this too.


As Clare spends her days locked in Andi’s apartment she finds more disturbing things about Andi and the things he has done to other women. Each day becomes a desperation to get out. The closer Clare gets to escaping the more obstacles she runs into and the more controlling Andi gets.


This is a hard movie to watch for it makes you feel Clare’s pain, anguish and desperation. You want to fly to Berlin, if you’re not there already, and try to save her.

What makes this even more disturbing is this sort of thing happens every day. The most infamous one is The Cleveland Kidnappings in which Ariel Castro held three women (Michell Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus) prisoner in his home for 10 years, from 2002 to 2013. Because of Castro’s demeanor when in public no one suspected a thing from him, as with Andi in the movie. Yes, Andi is a bit strange, but people have come to accept him as such. But he’s also a likable guy

Palmer and Riemelt make the movie even more hard to watch due to excellent acting by both.


Some dubbed what Clare had with Andi the Stockholm Syndrome.

Feelings of trust or affection felt in certain cases of kidnapping or hostage-taking by a victim toward a captor (Google)

I disagree with this analogy. I felt Clare did what she needed to do to keep her sanity to continue to gain and keep his trust, even in times of when he caught her trying to escape. When someone puts you in a situation in which your freedom is taken away, there’s no way you could fall in love or have affection for that person. What you end up having is survival instincts and if making your captor think you trust them and having feelings for them is the way to go, then you do it.


This is one of the reasons why I love foreign films, the acting. Palmer and Riemelt were excellent, as I’ve mentioned. But there were actors I’ve never heard of. Not knowing the players won’t have me comparing them to other roles I’ve seen them. However, because of movies such as this, I am inclined to watch other movies Palmer and Riemelt were in.

Foreign films don’t seem as restricted as American films seem to be, unless you’re an indie filmmaker. But even indie filmmakers don’t hold a candle to foreign films for me. As mentioned, the acting does it for me. But also learning of other countries is another reason I enjoy foreign films. Learning of different cultures and traveling the world without leaving the comfort of my living room is great. On the same note, these movies make me want to actual visit the countries they are filmed in.


Release Date: 26 May 2017
Country: Australia
Languages: English, German and Russian
Run Time: 116 minutes
Stars: Teresa Palmer as Clare and Max Riemelt as Andi
Directed by: Cate Shorland
Written by: Shawn Grant (screenplay)
Based on the novel of the same name by: Melanie Joosten

I heard the novel was just as hard to read. It’s been said that both the novel and movie were great; neither was better than the other, which is rare when it comes to book to movie adaption


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