Tykwer Fixates on Fate

When I was much younger, I used to make audio tapes from most of my vinyl records. I didn't have an equalizer (not that it would have helped) nor a mixing board. What I did have was a tape deck with split left and right input levels. I remember listening to an album like Prince's 1999 and when I made my tape, I would rapidly adjust the left and right input levels to make my own wacky (and sometimes unlistenable) mixes of a pretty good album. Tom Tykwer is a great director, but there were moments in this movie that I felt he was using the very large knobs on my old cassette deck. His ability to show subtle details is evident throughout the movie, but there are a few scenes that drift towards a bigger hammer than the finer hand Tykwer is capable of..

This is a good movie. It is flawed, but definitely worth seeing. Tykwer's previous movie is a full meditation on techno music presented in a very stylish wrapper. Tykwer doesn't ignore music in Princess, but it is mean to highlight and emphasize rather than carry the film.

Franka Potente plays Simone or Sissi as she is called. She is a nurse at a psych hospital. Tykwer's movie exists to showcase the odd series of events that make up our lives. How do these events get knit into our personal stories? How do our dreams make a difference? How do people come in an out of our lives? How do we know which matter?

Tykwer sets the movie with a background of many genre's - love story, bank heist, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and even elements of Run Lola Run. But these references to genres are not the movie. The movie really seems to be a meditation on fate.

Sissi is saved by Bodo in an automobile accident. He performs a rather gruesome tracheotomy but doesn't feel attached or responsible for Sissi. Sissi recovers and starts dreaming of Bodo. Are they supposed to be together? When she tracks Bodo down, it is clear he is more than haunted by his own past. The interplay between nurse-patient and patient-healer is explored from several angles. Is Sissi helping Bodo or is Bodo freeing Sissi?

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