A just about perfect film.
This is a suspenseful, tightly-crafted, almost perfect film. The director, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck portrays the greyness of the times in East Berlin a few years before the fall of the Berlin Wall with a dab hand, managing to create an intensity that is both exciting yet not out of hand for the viewer. It is 'edge-of-seat' drama, beautifully acted by Ulrich Muhe as Capt. Weisler who listens into the bugged apartment of Georg Dreyman (Sebastian Koch), renowned writer and playwright. As the plot unfolds, the director gradually draws the viewer into some sort of sympathy for the Capt. while at the same time, keeping fears for Georg Dreyman and his friends firmly in the emotions. The lovely Martina Gedeck (of Mostly Martha) is Georg's love interest whose involvement with those high up in the system adds dark dimensions to the plot.
Unlike many other films where the plot falters towards the end, 'The Lives Of Others' moves winningly towards the surprising twist in the last few frames.
Beautifully acted by all and stunningly directed, there doesn't seem an extraneous moment in this completely satisfying film. One viewing is not enough - the viewer will want more.