Sweeping shots of snowcapped mountains, displayed against a thumping techno beat and cut in with introductory shots of various characters (complete with their names appearing on screen) packing up to go somewhere might give one the impression that Wintersleepers is about a heist. The momentum builds like wildfire in these opening sequences as the phrase 'Are you really leaving today' echoes throughout the various departures happening across the board. This momentum quickly dies, as does the hope for any bank robbing scenarios. What comes in its place is a much slower film which lumbers along (painstakingly at times) to a crisp, almost haunting close.

Tom Tykwer, the German director who exploded onto the international scene with Run Lola Run brings this odd story of mistaken identity and deathly fate to the screen with an awkward, but in some ways rewarding, slant.

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