The Most Beautiful Couple (Das Schönste Parr)
After happily married couple Malte (Maximilian Brückner) and Liv (Luise Heyer) are brutally attacked during a trip to Mallorca by three young men, where Malte is beaten and forced to watch his wife being raped, the pair are left to pick up the pieces. But when Malte runs into Liv’s attacker one night two years later, they are both thrown into an emotional tailspin as they attempt to wrestle with the thoughts of how to enact vengeance – or even if that’s the route they should even head down. The latest feature film by writer and director Sven Taddicken, The Most Beautiful Couple is a raw and to-the-bone drama that succeeds in exploring the fragility of human psychology and how easy it would be to cross the line between man and monster.
Shown through two exceedingly extraordinary performances from Brückner and Heyer, the range of emotions each actor portrays throughout the film is wholly tangible and completely understated. Rather than evolving his movie into a gruesome rape-revenge style thriller, Taddicken expertly decides to keep events subdued – both graphic content and emotional outpourings. Although this can (and does) grind the pace to a snail’s crawl at times during the second act, it does succeed in holding everything at a grounded level, consequently allowing the events and relevant reactions to unfold realistically to ensure their impact is all the more effective when tensions eventually do reach breaking point.
Much like the performances and screenplay, the direction itself is rather minimalistic. Utilising plenty of negative space, long takes and little music, the frame is the ideal blank canvas for Brückner and Heyer to flex their acting muscles in impressive ways. Much like before, the purposeful lack of visual flare can make the duller moments all the more so, but the payoff is nonetheless worth the wait. A similar approach is taken to the use of diegetic music, with two contrasting live performances providing much-needed atmosphere through clever song choice.
Though it may not be the gritty and gruesome affair one may expect from a film of its description, The Most Beautiful Couple is best looked at as a powerful and provocative examination of two people pushed to the edge of morality, and is a very good one at that.
The Most Beautiful Couple (Das Schönste Parr) does not have a UK release date yet.
Read more reviews from our Glasgow Film Festival 2019 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the Glasgow Film Festival website here.
Watch the trailer for The Most Beautiful Couple (Das Schönste Parr) here: