Because runs for half an hour and turns on the arbitrary tumbling of an empty wine goblet. Thus, from the outset, coincidence and predestination have a central place in Tykwer’s cinema. An innocent man and his young so...展开n become victims of a prolonged argument between two people they have never seen. Why they happen to be standing beneath an apartment block window after midnight is not explained, nor do we need to know. Tykwer has instead drawn us deep into the incessant wrangling between Tanja and her boyfriend Martin, sending our sympathies first one way and then another, until both partners are exposed as petty liars.
Many facets of Tykwer’s talent already distinguish Because. For example, his fondness for re-winding experience, as if life were a DVD or a cassette – a theme that would turn Run Lola Run into a worldwide hit. He and Griebe take exciting risks with the lighting and décor. The walls of the apartment, for example, are as crimson as blood; so too are the bed-clothes. His dialogue, made up of deceptively banal phrases, questions and responses, has an inner rubato worthy of Albee or Bergman. Thus he peels away the veneer of hypocrisy that provokes most lovers’ discord, and reveals the self-pity and susceptibility quivering beneath.