Wednesday, December 16, 2015

642. The Marriage of Maria Braun

The Marriage of Maria Braun
Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder

I have absolutely gushed over Fassbinder's films but found myself crying bitter tears of boredom over Petra Von Kant.  This was somewhere in between.

During World War II, Maria Braun is married to her husband for less than a day before he has to return to the front.  After learning that he has been killed, Maria attempts to move on and forms a couple of new romantic relationships.

I don't know how much I can reveal of this film without being accused of spoilers.  I found the character of Maria to be incredibly strange.  In the first half of the film, she seems to be one person but completely transforms in the second half.  Not really in a character growth-y way but more in a "wait, that doesn't make any sense" way.  I have sort of a theory about the ending that might pull it all together but I don't want to ruin it for anyone.  Maybe I will put it in the comments...potential viewers, be warned.

The film drags on quite a bit, which was a shame, as I felt as though Fassbinder had previously shown great talent for pacing.  Overall, not a great finish for Fassbinder as far as The Book is concerned.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

Fassbinder makes a cameo as a man selling Maria a dress.


  1. I appreciate you posted this in '15 but now I'm curious what your theory on the ending is. I watched it couple of months ago now but I remember that I really liked the ending but I think I've been watching too many films lately and now I'm hazy on the details.

    I didn't really like the film much. I can see it's a good film, well made, acted etc etc but it wasn't for me. I liked it better than The Bitter Tears of Petra... though. These are my only 2 Fassbinder so far

    1. I actually do remember this ending. Spoiler alert for anyone reading this. I am not sure. On the one hand, it seems her life was defined by unhappy circumstances and coincidences so I could buy that it was an accident. But I feel like she did it on purpose. I didn't really like The Bitter Tears, but did end up loving Fassbinder.

  2. Very trivial question to anyone who has a physical copy of The Book different to mine (Psycho cover) . My copy has a silly little typo in the index, where this is listed as 'The Marriage of EVA Braun', which could put a whole new slant on what the film could be. I wonder if they corrected it in later issues?

    1. I've got the Avatar cover (the worst cover of all, from a film buff's point of view?) and it gets Maria's name right in all indexes etc

    2. Wow, I totally want to see the Marriage of Eva Braun. I didn't know one of the covers was Avatar. And I'm shocked Dessie has it!

    3. I know, I know, I do actually hang my head in shame at this.

      My excuse is that I went through a phase of buying each new version as it came out and got rid of the older copies at the same time. This came to an end when I went travelling 9yrs ago and never returned so got out of the habit. If only I'd packed my bag a year earlier or later!