Talk about a riveting debut. German first time feature filmmaker Oliver Hirschbiegel storms out of the gate with his intense and intelligent thriller Das Experiment. Based on Mario Giordano's novel Black Box (and I'd have to assume also inspired by the real life Stanford Prison Experiment), Das Experiment is a harrowing journey into the blurry world that lies between fantasy and reality. Hirschbiegel paces the film masterfully, proceeding at a high-energy clip throughout, yet knowing exactly the right moments to take his foot off of the gas pedal. Add to the mix a fantastic lead performance by Moritz Bleibtreu (Run Lola Run), and what results is a film I can confidently label a "must see."
Bleibtreu stars as Tarek, an ex-journalist turned cab driver who comes across a newspaper ad seeking participants to partake in a University sponsored psychological experiment. The experiment is to be set in a mock prison environment, and Tarek is immediately intrigued by the possibility of writing a story based on his experience as a research subject. Tarek is able to sell the idea to his former editor, and he then applies and is accepted as one of the test cases.
Continue reading: Das Experiment Review