Film Review: Victoria


Sebastian Schipper’s Victoria is a one-take wonder. Technically brilliant, the film hooks viewers from the very beginning, taking them on a rollercoaster of emotions.

Victoria, originally from Madrid, is new to Berlin. Meeting a group of guys in a club, she decides to hang out with them, as they show her the real Berlin. Victoria is glad to have company, little realising what the night has in store for them…

Director and co-writer Sebastian Schipper has created a marvellous film with Victoria. The film manages to enthral viewers from the very beginning, and retain their attention throughout the 138-minute run time. Victoria is as much an experience as it is a film.

The beauty of the film is that the direction the film takes is completely unpredictable. This element of mystery hooks viewers; Victoria keeps its audience on their toes. Emotions alter in an unforeseeable fashion. The film generates a feeling of apprehension, which is relaxed before tension is ramped up. In a way, Victoria switches genres throughout the course of the duration. At first it can feel as if the film will be a thriller, before the tone lightens. In the middle third, the tone changes again and again. The film keeps viewers guessing and enthralled throughout.

Technically, the film is amazing. The one-take format must have been difficult to pull off given the multitude of locations and situations that occur in Victoria. Sebastian Schipper manages to pull it off with aplomb. The handheld camera retains a sense of intimacy which is inescapable. Laia Costa puts in a great performance as the title character. Frederick Lau is also good as Sonne, whilst Franz Rogowski is well cast as Boxer.

Sebastian Schipper shows a striking level on ingenuity with Victoria. The film is highly recommended viewing.

Victoria is being screened at the London Film Festival in October 2015.