Veronika Voss

"Weak"

Veronika Voss Review


Rosel Zech's Veronika Voss, like Gloria Swanson's Norma Desmond, is a washed up and forgotten actress. And only through the actions of an otherwise oblivious outsider does Veronika make it back to the silver screen, with results not much better than Norma's.

Rainer Fassbinder's final film is a black-and-white ode to defeat, its questionably sane star obsessed with her own faded fame and willing to do anything to reclaim it. It doesn't seem terribly self-referential; Fassbinder was at the top of his game before he killed himself shortly after finishing the movie (curious point of trivia: Voss meets her end in an identical same fashion). Perhaps, though, it was frustration with filmmaking that led to Voss's big screen recreation -- or his frustration with life in general. (Of note: Voss is reportedly based on a real German film star, popular during the Nazi era and all but forgotten after its collapse.)

Fassbinder's work here is muddy at best. His black and white cinematography limits his typically washed-out color palette while failing to connect us emotionally with the bygone era. His attempts at building symbolism are iffy: the use of sparkly lights which oversaturate the image and blind the camera is an obvious nod to "the glare" of society. Fassbinder's done a lot better without being so ham-fisted.

Ultimately, Voss's biggest failing is its script, which follows Veronika around like a lapdog as she tries to regain some of that lost success. She never really does, and we feel cheated by the encessant dead-end subplots that the film takes us down. Fassbinder made some boring movies, but Voss is about at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to generating either excitement or empathy.

Aka Die Sehnsucht der Veronika Voss.



Veronika Voss

Facts and Figures

Run time: 104 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 18th February 1982

Distributed by: Criterion Collection

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 75%
Fresh: 6 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 7.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer:

Starring: as Veronika Voss, as Robert Krohn, Annemarie Düringer as Dr. Marianne Katz, as Josefa, Erik Schumann as Dr. Edel, Elisabeth Volkmann as Grete, as Max Rehbein, as Kinogänger, as Henriette

Also starring:

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