Fifth about The Seventh

The Tobacconist (Der Trafikant)

The Tobacconist: torn between being a romance, a cautionary tale about the rise of tyranny, a coming-of-age story, and a look at Sigmund Freud’s ideas and late-life in Vienna, Nikolaus Leytner’s drama truly succeeds at neither one of those. Furthermore, Freud’s presence is at once one of the film’s main selling points and a major distraction, as it adds nothing to the story itself. There is, generally, very little sense of character, in any case. Acting is fine, but the shallowness of the characters don’t really call for much; Bruno Ganz brings dignity and warmth to his character; Simon Morzé is OK as the wide-eyed boy; Emma Drogunova looks enticing and seductive, but the performance is wooden. Cinematographer Hermann Dunzendorfer captures the (too) pristine production design (spearheaded by Bertram Reiter) capably but without many hints of inventiveness; the exceptions are the dream sequences, but even those are conventional to a fault, for what they are.

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