Monday 24 August 2015

The Wrong Move [1975]

Road movies, partly motivated by US’ sprawling highway network and neon-lit motels, and partly by the possibilities of existential meditations, formed the most definitive aspect of Wenders’ filmography. The Wrong Move was the middle chapter in his famed ‘Road Movie Trilogy’ – it was preceded by the fascinating Alice in the Cities and was followed by the powerful Kings of the Road. This made-for-TV film was also the most curious, overly philosophical and experimental of the lot (also the only one filmed in colour), even if it never reached the breathtaking beauty of the two that this was sandwiched by, thus making it the least watched of the trio. Wilhelm (Rüdiger Vogler), the depressive, uncommunicative and directionless protagonist suffering from a deep sense of existential and identity crisis, wants to be a writer, but hasn’t managed to translate his thoughts into something tangible. Realizing that he’s become akin to a frog in a well, he decides to plunge into a randomly chosen trip across West Germany in search of meaning and truth. He’s joined in his wanderings by an equally weird and drifting group of fellow travelers – Therese (Hanna Schygulla), an alluring but deeply lonely movie actress, Laertes (Hans-Christian Blech), an ageing hippie-like street musician, Mignon (Nastassja Kinski), a young and mute juggler of ambiguous sexuality, and Landau (Peter Kean), a sensitive poet of rather limited talents. The bleak tone, rambling narrative and deliberately disjointed interactions between the oddball characters, along with the underlying thematic strand of regrets, ennui, confusion and aimlessness, made this a dense, aesthetically challenging and confounding watch – striking and off-kilter in some parts while dry and self-conscious in others.

Director: Wim Wenders
Genre: Drama/Existential Drama/Road Movie
Language: German
Country: Germany