Thoughts on The Night Porter

Friday, September 3, 2010 5:11 AM By Simon

-A former Gestapo officer (Dirk Bogarde), 12 years after the war, is working as a night porter for a hotel, where he again meets Lucia (Charlotte Rampling), a former concentration camp inmate with whom he led a sado-masochistic relationship.

-It's interesting how general they made the character of Lucia. She is passively referred to as 'the daughter of a socialist', so I'll assume she was a political prisoner. Her name suggests some sort of Christianity. All this, I guess, was to make her more relevant to all women, and, if you want to get even vaguer, victims of Stockholm Syndrome, or of two people in a bound, mutually dependent relationship against a politically fucked-up backdrop. Or something.

-Dirk Bogarde, as Maximillion, who might be the most repentant of his circle of blame-dodging former officers (and one gay Nazi balletist), just wants to live as a 'churchmouse', that is, quiet and unthought of, as opposed to their (the other officers') thirst for their former ranks. Yeah, he may be a Nazi bastard, but he's still Dirk Bogarde, and Dirk Bogarde is a suave motherfucker.

-The ending is weird.

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