Tom Tykwer made his biggest splash as a writer-director, with Run Lola Run (1998), but since then he’s mostly filmed other people’s scripts (Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, The International). This 2010 feature was his first as a screenwriter in ten years, and he comes to it with a head full of ideas, visualized in the opening credits by a beehive of split-screen images. The unlikely plot involves a longtime Berlin couple (Sophie Rois, Sebastian Schipper) who independently tumble into sexual affairs with the same stranger, a genetic scientist (Devid Striesow) with a decidedly hands-on knowledge of biology. Tykwer manages to negotiate this incredible coincidence without much trouble, though the movie slows to a crawl in its second half as he lays on the water imagery and chews endlessly on notions of “biological determinism.” Run, Tom, run. In German with subtitles.
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