New Jersey Stage 2017: Issue 5 - Page 120

for their captors, but it’s a red herring. With the likes of Paul Verhoeven’s Elle and the awful Fifty Shades series exploring the darkest of female fantasies, it initially seems Shortland’s inten- tion to join this current trend, but Clare never falls for Max; she’s always determined to escape his clutches, though her efforts are pretty pathetic. Berlin Syndrome may boast a pair of top-notch performances from its leads, along with some polished cinematography, but NJ STAGE 2017 - Vol. 4 No. 5 otherwise it’s the sort of me- diocre thriller that clogs up the Netflix catalogue. Max is an un- convincing villain, and the film’s attempts to humanize him (much time is devoted to his relation- ship with his aging father) jar with the otherwise generic thrill- er tone of the movie. Oddly, we learn more about Max than Clare, who despite several attempts to escape her captor’s clutches, seems quite happy in her situa- tion at times, twirling and danc- ing around his apartment in a INDEX NEXT ARTICLE 120