Wednesday, October 28, 2009

M (German) (1931)

After a long time I feel the joy of watching a masterpiece of world cinema. This is my first Fritz Lang film and I must say I just awestruck to believe that it was made in 1931. It was first talkie film of this pioneer of German Expressionism, although he made more than ten films earlier. The film remains the groundbreaking film noir till day for so many reasons. Here’s few note of my observation.

Directed by Lang and scripted by his wife Thea Von Harbou, ‘M’is a story of psychotic child murderer who’s roaming freely in the streets of Berlin. Despite an exhaustive investigation by police amid public hysteria, he remains unable to find. The hash investigation by the police gave sidekick to the world of organized crime. It becomes harder for them to operate freely under constant watch of police and public. So they decide that the only way to get rid of police is to catch the killer themselves as he’s giving them a bad name and disturbed their business. The united crime world finally nabs the murderer. But what happens to the killer when the justice lies in the court of the criminals.
It’s this moment of the film which puts the mystery of the film at the surface level and shoots so many questions to its viewers. Till this scene, most of the viewers who’s watching it for the first time wish that criminal should get caught, suddenly shift gears and gain sympathy for this compulsive killer’s character. Peter Lorre’s chilling portrayal is without doubt the first cinematic case reflecting Freudian unconscious drive of a serial killer. Lang raised the bar of ordinary crime film and gave it so many complicated psychological-sociological undertones with layers of irony which made this film finest document of German cinema. Lang himself also considered this film as his favorite one.
For Lang and this film I must say it’s an ‘Explosion of German Cinema.’

How can one rate such a groundbreaking masterpiece!!!

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