You expect a lot from the film that wins the Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. Lives of Others delivers. From the beginning with the interrogation scene the intrigue starts. Switching from audio, to classroom discussion, to the visual scene of the suspect is a powerful insight to the operation of the Stasi. The film grips you in this vise until the end.
One of the top operatives in East Germany in the ’80s is played by Ulrich Mühe. His performance is so moving as he evolves throughout the story. You experience every emotion as he struggles with his conflicting life. He becomes involved with his assignment to bug and listen to a writer and an actress. Bending rules turns to breaking rules as his metamorphous continues. How wonderful he was able to deliver such an award-winning performance before his death in July. How sad that it was to be his last.
It’s now out on DVD and well worth buying or renting. Since Mühe was an actor in East Germany under surveillance, how could the remake in the U.S. even come close?