Berlin Syndrome takes unrequited love to the furthest possible realms in a twisted version of the question “How far would you go to not lose the one you love?” Teresa Palmer plays Clare, a photographer who has a one night fling with Andi. But when she awakens in his room, unable to leave the apartment, she begins to wonder if he has more sinister plans for their relationship.
As the title refers to, Clare begins to experience Stockholm syndrome as her day of captivity turns to weeks….and months, with no end in sight. She begins experiencing complicated feelings and emotions toward her captor as the world outside changes and lives on without her. Can she leave? What happens if she tries?
Andi plays against our stereotypical idea of how a captor looks and behaves. In the daytime, he works as a teacher, showing that a monster can be anyone. In ann interesting parallel, he helps to raise the next generation of youth by day as he slowly destroys the youth of his captive by night.
Teresa Palmer gives one of her best performances to date, capturing the range of feelings such as helplessness, desperation, and spurts of bravery that one would experience under these extraneous circumstances. She is strong, capable, and not a “victim”, despite her situation.
At nearly two hours, the story moves quickly and is consistently engaging. The ending, although satisfying and creative, wraps up a bit too quickly. “Berlin Syndrome” showcases an interesting angle to captivity and is sure to have you in its grips as well. [B+]