Film: Revanche (German, 2008)
by Benjamin Groff
'Revanche' is a heist movie gone bad, which, as you can guess, leaves a complicated set of unexpected circumstances in its trail.
In German, revanche means either ‘revenge’ or ‘second chance.’ And in this 2009 Academy Award Nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, we see Alex (Johannes Krisch) exploring the waters of each…both getting even and reconciling.
But more than just vengeance and redemption, ‘Revanche’ also tackles the riveting themes of loss, guilt, rage, and desire.
The story begins in the filthy world of Viennese prostitution at a shabby brothel on the outskirts of town, where an ex-con, Alex (Johannes Krisch), works as a bouncer. He eventually falls in love with a Ukrainian prostitute, Tamara (Irina Potapenko) who also works at the ‘club.’ The couple wants to start a new life together in Spain, and away from the red light district.
However, no doubt they are totally broke, plus Tamara owes a huge debt to her boss…so Alex cooks up a bank robbery scheme to pay everything off. Unfortunately, a rural police officer, Robert (Andreas Lust), shows up at a wrong timing and accidentally shoots Tamara.
Alex runs off to his grandfather’s countryside farm while waiting for the heat to cool down.
There he discovers that Robert (the cop that shot his girlfriend) lives nearby with his wife, Susanne (Ursula Strauss). When despair and boredom rise, Alex builds a friendship (and more) with Susanne, just as revenge thoughts are starting to bubble up.