THE DOOR (Die Tur)


The Door artwork

General Release 2009
92 minutes approx
Certificate 15

David -
Mads Mikkelsen

Maja -
Jessica Schwarz

Gia -
Heike Makatsch

Nele -
Nele Trebs

Directed by -
Anno Saul

Written by -
Jan Berger


Five years ago, David was a famous artist with a wife and daughter and a mistress and life was good. Then his daughter drowned in the swimming pool whilst he was visiting his mistress across the road. Now divorced and an alcoholic, he has hit rock bottom and wants to kill himself. It is then that he discovers a doorway that leads him back to the exact day, and time, of his daughter's death. He has a chance to save her and earn his redemption. Unfortunately, things don't quite go to plan and he finds himself on a spiral down into a very personal hell.

THE DOOR is a startlingly original science fiction movie that won't get the audience it deserves because it's in german with subtitles. That shouldn't put you off, because this is one of the most delightfully unpredictable films that we've seen in quite a while. It takes an initial premise (travelling back to the day of his daughter's death) and then spirals off in a whole number of unexpected and highly entertaining directions.

At the heart of this are the utterly believable performances from Mads Mikkelsen (who has the unenviable task of playing the same person at two different stages of his life, but then has to play one of those people trying to pretend to be the other!) and Jessica Schwarz. Through them, each twist becomes compelling rather than ridiculous.

The mechanics of the door are never explained (one character says it is a portal that transports back in time five years, which makes it far too much of a coincidence that it David discovers it at just the time he needs) and the butterfly that guides him to it (the film's one and only, and beautifully rendered, CGI effect) puts this more in the region of a dark fantasy than science fiction, but the mechanics aren't what the film is about. It works both as a thriller with unexpected developments, tension and violence outbursts and as an examination of ethical dilemmas that a normal scenario could not handle. Just how far would you go to regain the perfect life?

The central story might feel a bit like an extended episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE and does have the occasional weak spot, but it twists and turns like a python in pain, is beautifully filmed and is very intelligent. In terms of a time travel thriller, this is a top notch effort.

in short, get over the barrier of subtitles and get the movie. You won't regret it.






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