From Brothel to Bank Heist

Revanche has all the elements of a thriller: an ex-con, a prostitute, a bank heist, and a getaway. But this isn’t your typical action movie with throwaway dialogue punctuated by gunfire and explosions. Revanche is an Austrian arthouse film, shot in that slow, considered European fashion that divides American audiences between the bored stiff and the mesmerized.

Revanche is the French word for revenge. The film follows a thin, ashen Ukrainian prostitute in Vienna who walks the streets in an outfit likely procured from the Fetish Factory. She carries on a real-love affair with a lowly gangster at her brothel, a man who scrubs toilets and punishes hookers for oversleeping. One morning, after one of their trysts, he states matter-of-factly that he’s going to rob a bank. The prostitute goes along with the plan, if haltingly. It’s their only chance to escape the hell of the underworld. Everything stands in their way. Revanche got an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. Just don’t expect a climactic, car-chase shoot-out.

Get in on the heist at the Lake Worth Playhouse, at 713 Lake Ave. in Lake Worth, through May 28. Tickets cost $8. Call 561-586-6410, or visit lakeworthplayhouse.org.
May 22-28, 2009

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Penn Bullock