Phoenix (2014)

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I quite enjoyed this German drama about a woman, Nelly, disfigured in a concentration camp whose facial reconstruction surgery alters her so much her husband fails to recognise her. She has been physically and emotionally shattered by her experiences, all her family have perished but her husband has survived. She is desperate to find him only to discover that he was the reason she was arrested. Sensing her similarity to his wife, who he believes is dead, he persuades her to pretend to be his wife and so he can inherit her fortune.

There is something of the melodramatic in this film, a touch of tv-mini-series that for awhile gets in the way of your belief in the story. Nelly is not strong and I was frustrated at her passivity. The film improves, though, as you see her transform into the person she used to be. The other characters are not really explored, this is her story and the context of her experiences in the camps is nicely woven through. The ending is beautifully done and in many ways redeems the occasional flaws.

3.5 stars

One thought on “Phoenix (2014)

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