UNDINE (2020)

Written & Directed By: Christian Petzold
Cinematography: Hans Fromm 
Editor: Bettina Bohler

Cast: Paula Beer, Franz Rogowski, Maryam Zaree, Jacob Matschenz, Anne Ratte-Polle, Gloria Andres De Oliveira 

Undine works as a historian lecturing on Berlin’s urban development. But when the man she loves leaves her, the ancient myth catches up with her. Undine has to kill the man who betrays her and return to the water.


Writer/Director Christian Pertzold, Always seems to bring nostalgia and powerful epic love stories into the modern age. 

The film feels like a short story compared to his other films that felt like full novels even if the same length. This just doesn’t feel as strong or as Rich. Making it feel somewhat lightweight, not as daring or demanding. Which can be forgiven. As not every movie needs to be a fraught tragedy. 

As this like most of his films is expressive, vivid, and powerful. Usually unforgettable with a romance that you might aspire to have and dream of despite their tragedy. To love is to gamble and lose big at times. Even when getting what you want it hurts to a certain degree and you lose or have to sacrifice a bit to be affected in the end.

Amazed by what you went through and proud of it. As an expression of passion in all ways. Your own epic story that is universal. Only you can truly understand. As you have your own point of view and are telling this particular tale as a memoir. That is what went through my brain while watching this film.

This film feels like a more modern fairy tale, but the emotions are deep. As it is detailed and textured as one without the lore though. The tragedy is that the tale feels like it ends too soon. Never knowing what you have until over and the characters obsessing over it. Raising it to a level of legend.

Think about how you feel when you break up with someone and feel you will never get over them. Then you meet someone new and realize how bad the other relationship really was. As you never reached the same happiness or highs as is the new one

This film Feels too short. Yet it doesn’t disappoint as it has the same strength and emotions affecting two lives immeasurably but seems to have the substance of a shorter story. That here gets by more on emotions. A brief romance that packs a full love story rather than one that takes place over a longer time period. 

That has an intensity where you wonder if given more time together. Would it have flamed out? Had more stories to tell that reinforced and made this love story as rich as Uncle Scrooge’s vault from DUCKTALES or with time made to realize it was a footnote and more a blueprint for future relationships to revolve around and know what you want and how you want to feel.

It Seems after romantic epics such as PHOENIX and COLD WAR. That Writer-Director Christian Petzold has set his sights on a smaller story that while not having as much of an expanse. its depths are just as strong

Grade: B