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Age of Uprising
Germany, France
Drama, History
IMDB rating:
Arnaud des Pallières
Sergi López as The Armless
Paul Bartel as Jérémie
Roxane Duran as The Princess
Amira Casar as The Abbess
Denis Lavant as The Theologist
Swann Arlaud as The Baron
Jacques Nolot as The Lawyer
David Bennent as César
Mads Mikkelsen as Michael Kohlhaas
David Kross as The Preacher
Bruno Ganz as The Governor
Storyline: In the 16th century in the Cévennes, a horse dealer by the name of Michael Kohlhaas leads a happy family life. When a lord treats him unjustly, he raises an army and puts the country to fire and sword in order to have his rights restored.
Type Resolution File Size Codec Bitrate Format
720p 1268x544 px 1468 Mb h264 1689 Kbps mkv Download
HQ DVD-rip 720x304 px 1244 Mb mpeg4 1432 Kbps mkv Download
Visually stunning, but oh so slow
AGE OF UPRISING: THE LEGEND OF MICHAEL KOHLHAAS is an interesting film about a mini revolution that took place in historical France. It's often a beautifully shot film, breathtakingly so at times, and it features a typically strong performance from Mads Mikkelsen in the lead role. Mikkelsen plays a sympathetic figure, a man who becomes oppressed to the extent that he has no choice but to fight back.

The problem with AGE OF UPRISING is that it goes out of its way to be as slow and arty as is humanly possibly. There's an hour's worth of plotting and incident dragged out to two hours, and boy, does it drag. Each scene plays out for far too long, and everything seems to be deliberately subdued and painstakingly detailed. Now, I do appreciate all of the lovely scenery, and having seen this in high definition I can say it's a visually stunning film.

But movies are about more than the visuals, and in that respect AGE OF UPRISING disappoints. The traditional storyline is a familiar one and nothing much happens that hasn't been seen elsewhere. In the end you can only sit back and enjoy it to a degree - and roles for the likes of Bruno Ganz help - but without getting more fully invested in a more involving movie.
The plot was promising, and the film started out well enough, but the momentum seemed to almost grind to a halt. While it avoided the pitfall of being a silly heroic movie, the contemplative European style was itself taken to an excess. The themes of property rights and faith brought up by the script were interesting, but it was too contrived and pedantic. The director simply did not have the energy. Even the editing seemed to fall apart during fast-paced scenes, and what should have been intense dialogue was delivered in an unbearably drawn-out manner. Mikkelsen was practically a mannequin, and the great Denis Lavant deserves particular mention for his tour de force monologue, revealing himself once again as one of the most incredible talents ever to be inflicted upon an audience.
For some dull and for some powerful
In this day and age of fast scenes and bloody gore, apparently this movie left some critics calling it dull and lifeless. Not me.

The measured pace was right for this film. It's simplicity was correct and fitted the era. By simplicity, I mean the lack of 'Hollywood-ised' scenes that we're used to seeing about peasants, barons and queens.

If you're a thinking person who enjoy very good actors, a movie that travels at a pace that reflects an actual story about human beings, social justice and conflicts, irony and dilemma, the stuff of life, this is a powerful and intense drama.

As always, anyone who fights for what is right, is never seen in a perfect shade of black or white.
Slow, dreary, boring and not worth watching
This movie is so slow, you can watch it in 2x and it still will seem slow. If you think I am kidding this is exactly what I did after 10 minutes of being bored to death. The story almost started to get interesting but then it fell apart. It was simply a terribly directed movie based on a very old novella from centuries ago. When you finally get to the end, that is providing you do not turn it off, you will be disappointed. I cannot say much for the acting as there was so little dialogue in it you would not believe it. Apparently this was a second attempt at directing for Arnaud des Pallières who was a writer. He should stick with writing. Both movies he directed are absolute stinkers and this is the worst of them. AVOID!!
Powerful, emotional, and thought provoking!
It draws you in with its minimalist dialogue. A tangibly believable story. I found myself contemplating(still doing it actually) the main characters dilemma as if it were happening to me. It would be tempting for Hollywood to romanticize this story but thankfully the creators of this film did not. I felt for him and his daughter in a profound manner, with my heart and emotions racing throughout, but particularly at the end. Like other great films, this one lets the story tell the tale, rather than excessive dialogue. The cinematography, locations, and soundtrack work perfectly. I want more films like this. Stories about real life are far more captivating than Hollywood garbage. Kudos to the creators and actors!
Slow Burner
Some people might not feel comfortable with this film, which is not surprising. It does move with a very slow pace and it is a movie about values. The question is, do you want a movie that might feel like a lecture to you? It isn't of course, but I would understand if some viewers would feel like that.

Mads is playing as strong as ever and the character is complicated, but has a strong sense of righteousness. Something that has been the downfall for many people. And standing up for yourself or others is not that easy. It's easier to just back down and take it, than to stand up and fight. But is it worth it? There are quite a few questions that you might ask yourself after watching this movie, because it does not answer everything for you ...
I do agree with one of the reviewers that this movie is not meant for a general audience. It avoids all the blockbuster clichés in order to focus on the essential - the story. It seems in fact to follow the style of Kleist's original novel - dry, understated. I find this approach very modern, it makes you think and feel instead of giving you pre-chewed material. And feel you do. I think the use of contrast between the action that is shown and how this action is performed is exceptional. When Kohlhaas's household goes on its first revenge campaign to the baron's house the killings take place in an absolutely silent, matter-of-fact manner, as if they did this every day (similar to the hangman at the end, except he DID do this every day, so to speak). And so it is with most of the movie. I think this also reflects the atmosphere of the middle ages - life was rougher, death, especially violent death, was more present. Children watched animals being slaughtered (well, there is only a mare giving birth in the movie). Life (and death) was more direct, more present. And although there is a lot of violence, it is off-screen. It is hinted at. The worst you will see is blood on hands and on a sword, that's all. I think this was a very judicious choice, if you think that violence has become commonplace in movies, almost banal. Mads Mikkelsen does speak with an accent, but it is an exaggeration to say that one doesn't understand a word. French is by far not my first language, but I did understand the dialogues. And then the director covered himself for this - Kohlhaas speaks with Jeremie in German, which shows that he is not French (so does his name). When the Princess comes to his house, she didn't come to apologize to the little girl. Rather, she came to see with her own eyes who this daring man was (she did come accompanied by a small army, so it wasn't a courtesy visit), and perhaps also to warn him that he might not be over it yet. This is quite clear if you listen carefully to her monologue, where she explains that a person of power (i.e. her) cannot afford to be either too forgiving or too cruel, so as not to come across to her subjects as either mellow or tyrannical. And then she materializes this philosophy of hers at the end: she renders justice to Kohlhaas in all respects - gives him money for the wrongs suffered, imprisons the baron for the wrongs done, shows the horses in question healed, and punishes the rebel, i.e. Kohlhaas. He does cry at the end. I think this is a quite realistic performance, even from such an emotionless character as Kohlhaas, because, I think, no matter how tough you are, I don't see how one can remain calm knowing that one will be decapitated in the following minutes. And although the film does not show emotions in characters, it builds emotion in the viewer - just think of the long preparation before the beheading. This scene made my blood freeze. So, this is not an action movie, but it works your adrenaline up by letting you interpret the understatements. It is not a bildungsroman either, so don't expect much character development. It simply describes a situation. You would say it is almost a story from the New Yorker. A quick hint for the end - if you liked Kubrick's Barry Lindon, you will adore Micheal Kohlhaas. I think the two films display the same sort of sensibility.
Slow, ponderous, anticlimactic
A slow, ponderous, anticlimactic movie. Had a lot of potential: a 16th century revenge-movie, with comments on justice and how royalty treat their subjects. Yet, it only really touches on these subjects. Nothing is completely explored. There was so much room to make big, bold statements, yet the director pulls his punches.

Even the end just feels like a damp squib. Yes, there's an emotional element, but there is no point. All the points the movie seemed to be striving to make at some stage, go up in smoke. What a waste.

Good performance by Mads Mikkelsen in the lead role. Does his contract state that he has to be in every non-English European movie nowadays? It feels like it is. He is everywhere, and in various languages too. A highly talented actor.

His presence would be about the only positive to the movie.
German atmosphere in the French language
French films dealing with medieval events tend to be romantic, adventurous and beautiful, with colourful costumes, picturesque landscapes and magnificent dwellings. The story around Michael Kohlhaas is originally German, so is the book, that is why it is difficult to comprehend why the French became interested in this. The result is a joint French-German drama (well, I even recognised some German actors in small roles) where the French language is aggravating rather than supplementing - at least for me. The run is slow, the environment is ugly, there are a few twists, thus I started to focus on acting very soon. Of course, Mads Mikkelsen (a Dane!) is great as usual, and as far I understood, his French was very good (true, he is often employed in foreign films, I have seen him speaking Swedish, English, German as well throughout the film). Other performances seemed a bit arid to me - apparently due to the characters - and, all in all, the film in question caused ambivalent feelings; there was a lot of inner profundity, but the course of events seemed perfunctory. But fans of Mikkelsen will not be disappointed as there are a few scenes without his presence only.
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