Thursday, 6 April 2017
Tiger Girl (4 Stars)
"Suicide Squad" has kicked off a trend of girls with baseball bats. They're not as erotic as whips, but do they have to be? Men like to be whipped for domination games. They pretend they're submitting to a dominatrix, and they have a safe word ready in case the whip stings too much. Fake subs like to retain control. It's not so easy to play games when baseball bats are involved. How can a man yell a safe word when he's lying on the floor with his brains oozing out of his shattered skull?
The film is about two girls in Berlin, Tiger and Vanilla. The film is more about Vanilla than Tiger, but I admit that "Vanilla Girl" would be less impressive as a film title.
Two women come together from different worlds. Margaretha wants to become a police woman. She fails the entrance test, so she begins to train to be a security guard. That's still a respectable career choice. Then she meets a completely different woman in a supermarket. She observes the woman shoplifting and wonders if she should report her. The two women approach one another, but don't speak. When Margaretha leaves the store she discovers that the woman has put food in her bag. She wants to corrupt Margaretha.
The woman follows Margaretha on the way home and introduces herself as Tiger. She renames Margaretha Vanilla, short for Vanilla the Killer. (In the Berlin dialect "-er" is pronounced the same as "-a", so for instance the words "Opa" and "Oper" sound the same). Tiger lives in a bus with two friends and invites Vanilla to join her. When Vanilla is almost raped at an underground train station Tiger teaches her to defend herself by hitting the men with a baseball bat.
Tiger also teaches Vanilla to be a bad girl. Why? Because it's fun. Vanilla steals two security guard uniforms so the girls can go out and have fun. They patrol shopping malls and stop men to investigate them as potential thieves. They take men into back rooms to perform a strip search. When the man is completely naked they steal his money and run away. Girls just wanna have fun.
As time develops Tiger realises that Vanilla is getting out of control. Being bad is too much fun. She begins to attack random people in the street. Tiger tries to calm her down, but it's too late.
This is a fascinating film that's rooted in Berlin culture. Situations occur that could hardly happen anywhere else. I don't know whether the film will ever be released with English subtitles, but if so I strongly recommend it.