Watch Chinese Roulette
- 1 hr 22 min
Chinese Roulette is a German-language film from 1976 directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. The movie stars Anna Karina, Margit Carstensen, Brigitte Mira and Ulli Lommel in leading roles, with Alexander Allerson, Andrea Schober and Macha Meril in supporting roles. The plot of the movie revolves around a wealthy West German family, who are having a crisis in their family relationships. The family consists of Ariane Christ (played by Karina), her husband Gerhard Christ (played by Allerson), their daughter Angela (played by Schober) and Ariane's lover Kolbe (played by Lommel). All of them live in a spacious villa in Germany.
The family is dysfunctional and there is a lot of tension in the air. Ariane has arranged for herself and Kolbe to go away for the weekend, but Kolbe arrives at the villa earlier than expected and disrupts everyone's plans. The couple has arrived to the villa with different intentions. Ariane wants to break up with Kolbe, but Kolbe has other plans. So, the situation becomes uncomfortable and awkward.
In order to lessen the tension, the couple decided to play a game. The game they choose to play is called "Chinese Roulette" - a guessing game that involves different players and hidden motives. They invite Gerhard and Angela to play the game with them, and this is where things start to unravel.
During the game, it becomes clear that everyone has secrets and hidden agendas. The game acts as a catalyst and emphasizes the conflicts that exist within the family. Everyone gets involved in the game and the atmosphere becomes tense and unpredictable.
The events that take place during the game reveal the complex nature of human relationships. These revelation films can be shocking at times and hint at uncomfortable truths. Each character has their own individuality, and we get to witness their behaviour when under pressure. We are given a chance to observe their character, gestures, facial expressions and tone of voice.
Throughout the movie, there are many powerful performances, particularly from Anna Karina and Ulli Lommel. Even though the atmosphere is somewhat bleak, the movie effectively conveys a message about the human condition and the complexity of relationships.
In terms of the film's production, it's worth noting that the movie has a stylized look, with a cool, clinical quality that's typical of Fassbinder's style. The film keeps the viewer on the edge of the seat with its use of close-ups, quick cuts and long takes. The music is sparse but effective at highlighting the mood of the scenes.
Overall, Chinese Roulette is a complex and thought-provoking film that examines the relationships between family members. With its tense atmosphere and powerful performances from the cast, it's a movie that's both unsettling and rewarding, and one that stands as one of Fassbinder's greatest achievements.