Another Bloody Christmas (Part 1)

Starring a more than usually evil-smirking Liev Schreiber as the Colonel,a nervy,edgy,yet quirkily endearing Mark Ruffalo as the detainee,a man going home on foot through a crowded seasonal shopping mall after a routine business meeting with the Boss,Max von Sydow(in a subtle pastiche of his generally less than intelligible Swedich roles).But the quotidian ambience turns hideously dark as cctv and other cameras focus in and begin tracking the oblivious mark ruffalo character.

The films predominant pastel dark browns and washed out violets convey seasonality and yet lend a disturbing counterpoint to Donnersmarck retro-cultural references that sees his ouevre on “Lives of others”morphed or transmuted to a re-imagined “It’s a wonderful Life”Liev Schreiber as Colonel replacing the angel.The score,a mash-up of the original “Taking of Pelham 123″and Ozian tropes referencing rainbows are too say the least bold.At 114 minutes,and the necessary inconclusive ending,a resolution and clarification are gratefully awaited in Part2,and,of course we’ve yet to await Casey Affleck’s appearance as the transvestits CIa interloper his employment being terminated etc.

art-house?perhaps but only in a good way,a bit like Inception without its straightforwardness.

By Louis Kasatkin

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