TIFF 2015 Review: Victoria
If nothing else, Victoria is a masterstroke in direction, employing a nearly two and a half hour single take to tell a tense late night thriller that navigates Berlin streets, parking garages, and apartments.
There is more, though, making it more than a compelling watch, but an intimate and exhausting journey next to a precocious if not naïve heroine in the title Spaniard, Victoria. Exciting a crowded club, but not before doing one more shot, Victoria encounters a quartet of rowdy gentlemen who haven’t the money to enter. As they walk out together, you want so badly for Victoria to put her curiosity aside and just go home.
It’s not because they seem necessary malicious, but immediately and always is there a sense of foreboding. Even though very little happens across the first hour, as the men (and us) get to know Victoria and they share drinks and laughs, you can’t help but feel fearful for a young woman who errs on the side of recklessness.
So we wait, in real time, but with reason and a payoff. When the tension rises, it happens swiftly and with great potency, never letting up. The night spirals out of control when one of foursome is forced to return a favour to a less than charitable person. Victoria is wrapped in the middle, and as night gives way to dawn, as the group subs out laughs for screams, Sebastian Schipper’s utterly captivating film builds to a wild, gripping conclusion.