I'm beginning to wonder if Tom Tykwer's breakout hit Run Lola Run was a fluke. After seeing his earlier Wintersleepers, an interesting if pretentious drama, and now his latest offering, I suspect that this guy is more comfortable making dry, slow films than his frenetic Lola.
Time time around, he explores the odd relationship between Sissi (Lola herself, Franka Potente), a mousy nurse at a psychiatric hospital who is so selfless that she even masturbates patients who can't sleep, and Bodo (Benno Furmann), a gloomy ex-soldier who saves her life one day after she is hit by a truck (with a makeshift tracheotomy that made everybody in the audience squirm when I saw it) and then takes off. Sissi rather inexplicably falls in love with her savior, and searches for him far and wide. Then she finds him.
That's more or less all that The Princess and the Warrior is all about, though there is also an interesting subplot involving a bank heist (which is filmed with great suspense) and a supporting cast playing mental patients who actually seem like mental patients, dirty and ugly and violent. No cuddly crazies in this hospital! But when it's all over, it doesn't leave the viewer with much to think about, and is quickly forgotten.
A noble effort, but here's hoping the talented Tykwer can think of something more meaningful to say with his future projects. If not, then could he please make a fun film like Lola again? Because Princess is neither meaningful nor fun.