Wednesday, 16 May 2012

One Way (4 Stars)

At its core this is a good old fashioned rape and revenge film, although the many plot twists disguise it. The film was a box office flop and slated by critics. Til Schweiger, who both produced the film and played the lead role, has defended the film rigorously and calls it a masterpiece that has a message for all women who have ever been raped. If that was his goal in making the film he's off target. Films like "I spit on your grave" and "Run Bitch Run" have more to say about this topic. The very fact that the film's central character is a man, not the woman who has been raped, distracts from the film's message.

When Angelina was a young teenager she was raped by four boys. They were found innocent in court for lack of evidence. Angelina had a breakdown and spent two years in a psychiatric hospital. Her only comfort was a fantasy in which a mysterious general appeared and executed the boys.

Now to the present. She works in a top advertising agency in New York. One day when she is working late she's raped by Anthony Birk, the owner's son. She turns to a co-worker for help, Eddie Schneider (Til Schweiger), who is her best friend and also engaged to marry the owner's daughter. Eddie pays for her hospital bills, but when the court case comes he gives a false statement that contradicts Angelina's story, making her whole story sound like a fantasy.

So the revenge ensues. With the support and approval of the general Angelina drugs Anthony, rapes him with a strap-on and shoots him. Unfortunately Eddie had been fighting with Anthony earlier in the evening, so he's arrested and put on trial for murder.

This synopsis of the plot might be misleading. I've told the story from the woman's perspective. The film actually shows everything from Eddie's perspective. He's the one put in the centre of the happenings, and his character, with all his strengths and weaknesses, are put in the spotlight. His suffering as a man falsely accused is focussed on rather than the rape itself. That's the film's biggest flaw. Nevertheless, I did enjoy the film, despite its lack of consistency. It is never boring.

The film runs for just under two hours. I decided to watch the interview with producer Til Schweiger. He said that the original cut was 3 hours 20 minutes long! Wow! Then he said that the DVD would include only the important scenes that had been deleted, not the trivial scenes. And yet the DVD still includes 57 minutes of "important" deleted scenes. If a "director's cut" is ever released I'd watch it out of curiosity. But I'm not sure that adding an extra hour to the story would improve it.

Click here to view the trailer.

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