Sunday 1 September 2013

Lola [1981]

The marvelous final chapter in the prodigious RW Fassbinder’s celebrated ‘BRD Trilogy’ culminated his incredible socio-political examination of post-WWII German society, with its phenomenal growth, ambition, greed, human corruption, disappointments and disillusionment. Most interestingly, the 3 films were imbued with distinctive visual designs – The Marriage of Maria Braun was shot in washed-out colors, Veronika Voss in rich and expressionistic B/W, and Lola in resplendent, saturated colours. The titular Lola (Barbara Sukowa), a delicious and vivacious young lady who garners men’s attention wherever she goes, is a nighclub singer and the mistress of the gregarious Schuckert (Mario Adorf), a wealthy but thoroughly crooked building contractor with a booming personality. He uses his night-club, with its razzle and dazzle, to ensure that the city’s mayor (Hark Bohm) and other high-placed officials are kept happy. Meanwhile, bored with her vacuous life, Lola decides to seduce Von Bohm (Armin Mueller-Stahl), the middle-aged, newly appointed building commissioner of the city, and possibly the only man she knows who is so incorruptible, thus making him anachronous to and asynchronous with the times he lives in. He falls hopelessly in love with her, but when he discovers her identity, which was hitherto unknown to him, his moral order suddenly collapses and he decides to wage war against Schuckert and his cronies. But, the question is, in a world as inherently corrupt as this, can even someone as “old-fashioned” as him escape unblemished? The film’s vivid and flamboyant look wonderfully accentuated its darkly satirical tone, cynicism and pessimism, and was nicely accompanied by the fine performances and superb musical numbers.

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Genre: Drama/Political Drama/Romance
Language: German
Country: Germany

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