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Der Krieger die Kaiserin (The Princess and the Warrior - U.S. title) ***
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Starring Franke Potente, Benno Furmann, Joachim Krol
Directed by Tom Tykwer 


     In 1999, a German film was released stateside to critical acclaim and soon a legion of film fans were following it and spreading the word.  That film was "Run Lola Run" and it signaled the arrival of star Franke Potente.  Its director, Tom Tykwer, was hailed as the next big thing out of Europe.  So when "The Princess and the Warrior" was released in 2000, hopes were high for lightening to strike twice.  This, of course, failed to happen.  Instead, we were left with an overwraught movie that can't quite figure out where to end.
     "Warrior" isn't without merit.  It features another good performance by Potente.  Instead of her famously fire red hair in "Run Lola Run," she garnishes a head of bleach blond hair.
     Also of note is the cinematography by Frank Griebe.  He captures Germany in all its glory.  Every shot is an artistically nuanced work.
     Potente plays Sissi, a nurse at a mental institute.  She lives in an apartment within the building where the patients walk about freely.  Several of those patients have taken a fancy to her, particularly one who loves to dance and take walks with her.
     Benno Furmann plays Bodo, a man left broken by the lost of a loved one.  We see him try to make a living at a funeral home.  He is fired when the owner sees him crying, apparently a no-no for funeral home workers.  It's the first time we see the sadness in him, but not the last.  His tears and delusions frequent the film.
     When Bodo saves Sissi's life, she becomes enamored with the mysterious stranger.  She seeks him out and sets to discover if the intitial meeting was merely coincidence or the fate of two people coming together. 
     "Run Lola Run" featured a frantic energy that carried the film, but "Warrior" will have none of that.  "Warrior" is more of a romance than a suspense or thriller.  It draws out the plot until the connection the viewer may have had with the characters is considerably diminished.  The promise of "Run Lola Run" isn't met by "The Princess and the Warrior," but it is by no means awful.  Potente is a likable lead and the cinematography make up for an admirable, but ultimately failing attempt to liven up the romance/drama genre.  

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