Edge

‘Baader Meinhof Complex’ a gripping, frenetic thriller

One of the most stunning aspects of The Baader Meinhof Complex is that it never once lags despite running almost two and a half hours. Germany’s submission to the 2008 Academy Awards and a best foreign language film nominee, the film is absolutely thrilling from start to finish.

After all, had the most comprehensive feature about the Red Army Faction been anything but riveting, it would have been a failed exercise. Making the 1970s far-left terrorist group boring would have been a crime against history.

Luckily for history buffs and film fans alike, Baader Meinhof has no need to embellish its plot’s events. The group, which was active between 1970 and 1998, is responsible for 34 deaths and often chose civilian targets, including department stores and public spaces.

Baader Meinhof looks and sounds as if it is from the 1970s. Cinematography, effects, sound, and action sequences are all period-appropriate, and the script – which covers the group’s inception to the demise of its first generation of leaders – manages to pack an immense amount of information into a enthralling thriller.

The female leads own the film. Martina Gedeck is superb as Ulrike Meinhof, a sympathetic journalist who joins the subjects of her columns in committing terrorist acts; likewise, Johanna Wekalek steals every scene she’s in as group leader Gudrun Ensslin. Wekalek’s chemistry with Moritz Bleibtreu as co-leader Andreas Baader is completely electric.

The sole major fault with the film is that once the group’s original leaders are imprisoned, new characters are introduced without any background; it’s possible to watch the entire movie without knowing who many people are.

The Baader Meinhof Complex is a breathtaking, heart-stopping look at a time in which the youth of a country refused to let the history repeat itself. It is interesting to contrast their activism, whether one approves of their tactics or not, with the apathy of today.

The Baader Meinhof Complex plays Friday through Sunday at the Cosford Cinema.

RATING: 4/4 stars

Starring: Martina Gedeck, Johanna Wekalek, Moritz Bleibtreu

Directed By: Uli Edel

MPAA Rating: R

November 6, 2009

Reporters

Sarah B. Pilchick

Senior EDGE Writer


ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “‘Baader Meinhof Complex’ a gripping, frenetic thriller”

  1. Luke says:

    Great review. I agree completely with your thoughts on the film. Baader is easily one of the best films I’ve seen all year.

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

This time, there was no miracle Miami win over Duke. The fifth-ranked Blue Devils rallied from a 13- ...

It was obvious before tipoff that the University of Miami game against No. 5 Duke was no ordinary Hu ...

Miami Hurricanes backup quarterback Evan Shirreffs announced Monday on Twitter that he will transfer ...

Here’s one of the many neat things about the UM football program, a tradition that has carried on fo ...

Clemson coach Brad Brownell had a simple plan at the only practice before facing No. 18 Miami — don ...

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision for a “Beloved Community” has inspired a number of University of ...

UM launches three cyber security certificate programs to equip professionals for the growing employm ...

The second annual Big Data Conference and Workshop hosted by UM Center for Computational Science enc ...

Now in its 67th year, the Beaux Arts Festival will move to the Foote University Green. ...

UMIAMIFL also outperformed two key S&P benchmarks by more than nine percent. ...

Lonnie Walker IV scored 19 points, but it wasn't enough as the Canes fell to the Blue Devils at ...

The University of Miami women's basketball team took down Clemson behind a career-high 19 point ...

The University of Miami announced Monday that it has relieved Mary-Frances Monroe of her duties as h ...

As the University of Miami heads into 2018, check out the latest edition of Hurricane Magazine. ...

Hurricanes and Blue Devils square off at 7 p.m. Monday. ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.