Hot on the heels of Eva Trobisch’s All Good comes The Most Beautiful Couple (Das schönste Paar), another acclaimed German indie drama about the aftermath of a sexual assault. Taking a more impassioned (some might say salacious) approach than the level-headed Trobisch, director Sven Taddicken orchestrates an impactful domestic thriller. After having sex on the beach, photogenic couple Malte (Maximilian Brückner) and Liv (Luise Heyer) return to their Mallorcan holiday home, to be confronted by a trio of young German home invaders. After tormenting the pair, Funny Games-style, ringleader Sascha (Leonard Kunz) proceeds to rape Liv while his accomplices force Malte to watch. Back home, some time later, Malte is sent into a destructive tailspin after spotting Sascha in a kebab shop, reopening Liv’s old wounds in the process. While the situations often feel contrived, and a final-act sequence hinged around a karaoke performance of Radiohead’s “Karma Police” borders on laughable, the emotional intensity underpinning the film is compelling. And with its focus on the toxic consequences of fragile masculinity, it’s a timely riff on the rape-revenge drama formula.
The Most Beautiful Couple (Das schönste Paar) | D: Sven Taddicken (Germany 2018) with Maximilian Brückner, Luise Heyer. Starts May 2.
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