The winner of the Berlinale’s 2016 Teddy Award sees a gay couple’s idyllic life shaken to its core when a sudden outburst of violence rips their carefree existence apart. The inexplicable and shocking event – which shall remain unspoilt here, although the film’s title should clue you up – reveals a “blind spot” in their previously harmonious relationship. Stefan (Lukas Turtur) becomes paralysed with guilt, while Andreas (Philipp Hochmair) questions his feelings, becoming increasingly angry and suspicious of his partner.
Austrian actor-turned-director Klaus Händl’s second film shows a fall from grace, an expulsion of a blissful couple from paradise. Numerous Biblical allusions and visual metaphors verge on overkill at times, but his acutely observed depiction of irrational thoughts and raw impulses that so often seep into relationships is quietly intense. Händl succeeds in making this psychological love story a bracing tale that boasts two excellent central performances and only falters due to an overlong runtime. Well worth seeking out.
Kater (Tomcat) | Directed by Klaus Händl (AT, 2016) with Lukas Turtur, Philipp Hochmair. Starts November 24.
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