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Stop seeing them the way they weren't.


The Baader-Meinhoff Complex
(2008)

Uli Edel's last work that attracted my attention was an under-seen Rasputin TV movie with Alan Rickman. This is born of the same era as Spielberg's Munich, but all-round superior. Edel confidently keeps the pace up, as does the score by Peter Hinderthur and Florian Tessloff, that recalls the relentlessness of the Bourne films. 

That said, it is overlong at 2hrs 25 minutes. You're aware that Baader is wired and unpredictable from his first scene, but his ethos never really becomes clear. Perhaps he had a magnetism that Bleibtreu doesn't really tap into (there must have been something going on there, with his entourage of hot and frequently nudist groupies), because you wouldn't want to spend five minutes in the company of an individual who behaves in the spoilt, petulant way he does, let alone listen to his crazed political ideology. 

Meinhof comes across with more depth, although there's still a great deal of inscrutability there (her decision to give away her children). Much better such vagueness than the spoonful of syrupy "insight" that Spielberg attempts to make us swallow in Munich, though. It feels, for the most part (Bruno Ganz's dissertation on the new battlefield of terrorism being a notable exception) like a film set in its time, rather than shot through with the glare of hindsight.

***1/2

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