Directed by Till Hastreiter
Distributed by Shoreline Entertainment / Inception Media Group
I’m not a gullible soul (at least I don’t think I am), and I’ll most likely believe you if you tell me it’s raining while you’re peeing on my leg, but the one thing that I couldn’t possibly get confused about is how damn confusing Till Hastreiter’s The Forbidden Girl comes off to even the most casual viewer. A road map of the endless one-way streets in the city of Boston, Massachusetts, is no match for the convoluted and at times downright head-scratching photoplay that’s on display here.
The movie begins with a man named Toby (Gadiot), who is being disciplined/taught about the ways of the Lord from an overly enthusiastic priest (Roger Tebb) – and while many lessons are preached in earnest, the one that continues to ring the loudest is NO association with women, as their sinful ways will surely lead to the ruination of any man that dares to fall to their spells. Upon the completion of his “schooling,” Toby sets out for a midnight stroll through the cemetery to meet up with the love of his life, Laura (Böhrnsen), for a little rendezvous amongst the tombs. After a blackout attack upon his girlfriend by the holier-than-thou father figure, Toby is traumatized to the point that he is stuck in an institution for the mentally ill.
We pick up the story some years later with his situation vastly improved as he’s offered an aftercare position as a tutor for a mysterious woman who lives in a spacious castle. The odd thing about Toby’s pupil is that she bears a mirror-image to the love of his life who was brutally murdered years earlier… enter the first stage of complexity.
As if the doppelganger of his own dead girlfriend isn’t enough to provide fuel to the confusion bonfire, how’s about an elderly woman (Jeanette Hain) who resides in the castle’s upstairs bedroom and ages in reverse? Still not satisfied with the oddities that abound? Well, let’s just throw in an obviously overworked butler (Klaus Tange) who has a penchant for swinging a mean axe. Tally all of these factors together, plus a few incomprehensible dream sequences (one involving a dancing priest), and we have the recipe for a movie that will have you questioning your own sanity for even watching it. The lure of his former love who has taken on a new life as a carefree student, coupled with the supernatural retrogression of a nymphomaniac witch, leaves Toby at a moral crossroads that, any way you slice it, would NEVER make his pontifical pappy proud.
I struggled to make it through the remainder of this presentation, and even with the ample boob scenes and latent eroticism in play, there simply wasn’t enough sanity glue to keep this broken picture together – some plot points lead to dead ends, and when others reached somewhat of a conclusion, it was the unsatisfying result that would not beg for a repeat watch. If I had to search for a lone beacon of light here, it would be the backdrop of the castle itself, giving off a retro-Italian horror movie feel; however, the lame CGI and dreadful performances bring this film back down to substandard levels of mediocrity. When all was said and done, the only thing ‘”forbidden” about this movie should be the ability to sit through it again.
1 1/2 out of 5
1/2 out of 5