Thursday, May 30, 2024

Femme Fatale

Bis ans Ende der Nacht/Till the End of the Night (2023) - Hochhäusler Screen Shot 2024-05-30 at 1.54.44 PM Screen Shot 2024-05-30 at 1.53.57 PM Screen Shot 2024-05-30 at 1.54.26 PM Screen Shot 2024-05-30 at 9.29.00 AM Screen Shot 2024-05-30 at 1.36.50 PM Screen Shot 2024-05-30 at 1.55.26 PM Screen Shot 2024-05-30 at 1.56.53 PM Leni (Thea Ehre) just got out of jail serving 2/3 of a 3-year sentence for drugs. She made a deal with the police to go undercover with Robert (Timocin Zeigler) as a couple to get closer to a former DJ/suspected drug kingpin Victor Arth (Michael Sideris) who sells drugs online. Arth used to know Leni when she was Lenard, his sound engineer in the past. Robert and Leni have been in a very unhealthy relationship - he psychologically abuses her but also can't get away from her. His behavior stems from his own identity issues. Their undercover status isolates Leni from her friends. An obtrusive ankle brace doesn't help the matters either. The couple approaches Arth and his girlfriend at the dance lessons and with their former relationship, Arth brings them into his life. Robert gets a job as Arth's driver, and they become trusted friends. As Leni and Robert get in deep in their cover, their friendship with Arth makes things blurry.

It's Fassbinder worthy of drama between Leni and Robert. But Robert really loves her and willing to give up everything. However hopeless Robert seems, Arth sees a beauty in their relationship.

Till the End of the Night is a sleek film noir with trans actress Thea Ehre as a femme fatale. Tall with big blond hair, she exudes the big time 80s Emily Lloyd vibe. Zeigler's ratty, greasy hair suits a police man who struggles with his sexual orientation. Sideris is great as not your typical villain but a reasonable man with a lot of compassion and envy. I just wish the script was a little tighter on the noir's pot boiling aspect, so we can feel more tension. But the rendezvous at the airport ending rolls on and Till the End of the Night is quite a satisfying noir.