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film review

Victoria, a young woman from Madrid, meets four local Berliners outside a nightclub. Sonne and his friends promise to show her a good time and the real side of the city. But these lads have gotten themselves into hot water: they owe someone a dangerous favour that requires repaying that evening.

If only we could yell "cut" in real life. Victoria, a heist film shot in one continuous take by German director Sebastian Schipper, thrills with its tense, awkward velocity but wins even more because of its emotional honesty and voyeuristic reality.

Victoria (Laia Costa) is a young woman from Madrid who meets a fun-loving quartet of men at an underground German nightclub in the wee hours. They are "real Berliners," they tell her. What they are not are daylight bank robbers, but that's what they're pressured into being, with the collegial Victoria deciding to help her new-found friends at dawn. They speak in a universal language – broken English – and the dialogue is clearly not overrehearsed.

With no cutaways, the film's story and the momentum of the unlikely robbers seems as unstoppable as the camera. The characters are confused, adrenalinized and breathless, as are you. Because the deal feels real.