Eye For Film >> Movies >> Das Fraulein (2006) Film Review
Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson
War-torn countries are a popular setting for drama – after all war is, perhaps unfortunately, a great dramatic device. But what of the long-term aftermath? What happens to those who flee?
Set in Switzerland, this feature debut from Andrea Staka tells the story of three former Yugoslavians – not focusing directly on their past but showing, through a complex character study, how that past has shaped their present.
Ruza (Mirjana Karanovic) is fiftysomething Serbian, who has filled her life with daily routine. She runs a café and has no time for frivolity, or the past. She is like a piece of piano wire, which you sense could snap with disastrous consequences. One of her staff, Mila (Ljubica Jovic), is Croatian. Anxious and fussy, she dreams of a return to her homeland and frets about the money her husband is spending on their house back in the old country.
Into their lives comes Ana (Marija Skaricic). Fresh from Bosnia, she lives out of a railway station locker, living fast at night, so she can bed hop for comfort.
A chance encounter sees her get a job at the café, at which point she begins to reshape Ruza and Mila’s routine and perception of their lives, as Ana brings a joie de vivre, even as she struggles with her own pain and past.
As a character study, this feels as real as a knife cut, slicing to the heart of shattered dreams, long-forgotten hopes and aspirations which may go unfulfilled.
Staka gets to the heart of things. Emotion is kept locked in a box, but when it surfaces, the joy is palpable, like a rainbow on a stormy day. Ruza finds passion and compassion, which well up like an oil strike, bursting to the surface in a blaze of glory.
Life and relationships are complex – Staka shows us just how much.Reviewed on: 02 Feb 2007