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The Marriage of Maria Braun

Posted by martinteller on September 6, 2009

This is my third time trying to watch this movie.  I found it dull the first two times, but tonight I didn’t have a problem with it at all.  In fact, almost every scene had something interesting going on.  Just had to be in the right mood for it, I guess.  The film begins with a picture of Hitler followed by an explosion, and ends with an explosion followed by pictures of the chancellors since Hitler, suggesting that Germany hasn’t changed that much.  Beyond being an allegory for Germany (and I’m not sure if the allegory is very effective), Maria is a fascinating character in her own right.  Brutally honest and forthright, completely in control of her own destiny and yet entirely unfulfilled, and cold and calculating almost to the point of cruelty.  And yet she does what she does out of passion and devotion.  The cinematography by Michael Ballhaus is excellent, whose work with Fassbinder always has such a striking sense of color and lighting.  I still feel like I don’t really “get” Fassbinder, at least not to the extent that some of his fanatical followers do, but I found this film to be pretty engaging.  Rating: 7


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