Ludwig II (2012) Poster


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Weirdness and Kingship
ajmpro30 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The first question anyone with a little knowledge of the reception of King Ludwig II of Bavaria has to ask is: Why do we need a fifth feature film of Ludwig's life? What is shown that wasn't shown before? How can anyone top Visconti's "Ludwig II" (1972) and Helmut Berger's brilliant performance as the king? Of course, there is no simple answer to that. A lot of the new "Ludwig II" has the a clear feeling of remake to it. At some points, it seems that the only reason for the new movie is to present it in better visual quality. That can be a legitimate reason to watch this movie and in terms of visual quality, the movie does deliver, even if it would have been possible to "exploit" the beautiful landscape of Bavaria and the monumental castles much more.

On the other hand, in opposite of the wide majority of the German critics' opinion, the 2012 movie does have its own access to the persona of the eccentric king. Ludwig is portrayed as someone who just didn't fit in. He is very shy, nervous, sensitive and in every way not prepared to be the king, when his father dies shortly after his 18th birthday. What Ludwig loves does conflict with society's values and what is expected of a monarch: He is expected to lead his country into war and to marry for the benefit of his dynasty and country - but he hates everything that has to do with military and just can't love women. Tragedy evolves when he tries to force himself to do both - he is only partially successful, and has to sacrifice his inner well-being to do so.

Ludwig reminded me a lot of a 19th century "Donnie Darko", a "weird" (that means: different) young kid, who happens to be king. I think it's interesting to see him in such a perspective, because from a contemporary point of view, our society finally seems to accept, and sometimes even endorse, that being different can be a good thing. But in the 19th century, being different means to be insane. There is no room for someone like Ludwig, especially not in his position as king.

So overall, I really enjoyed the movie. On the other hand, I did disagree with the proportions of the different episodes of his life. His relationship with Richard Wagner, which of course played a very influential role in understanding Ludwigs character, was nevertheless given a way to big part in the movie. Plus, the "peripeteia" of the tragedy, the turn of events (here: Ludwigs resignation and complete flight from reality), was not really shown because of a huge time jump.
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ihatefrankiero17 May 2016
This movie is amazing and I'm shocked that it only has a 5.9 on IMDb. Everyone I know who has seen this movie (mostly German friends... I'm American) including myself love this movie. It's a long film but I really enjoyed it and you can't exactly tell the story of a King's life in 90 minutes. All of the cast were excellent actors and really had you believing they were the characters they were portraying. The costumes were great and not overdone or cheesy like a lot of historical films make the mistake of doing. As for the story itself: I'm from the USA and raised in public schools all my life so it shouldn't be any surprise that I was never taught about Ludwig II. In fact, this film is the only reason I know his name. After watching the film I actually did some research on Ludwig and realized pretty much everything from the film was based on actual events and solid facts of Ludwig's life... a refreshing change from the typical more-fiction-than-fact "historical dramas" released in my country. I wish I could buy the film on DVD and hopefully someday that will be an option.
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Style over substance and a weak lead
Horst_In_Translation8 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
"Ludwig II" is a German movie from 3 years ago that almost runs for 2.5 hours. It was written and directed by Marie Noelle and the late Peter Sehr, for both of them (so far) the last project, and they collaborated on other films before this one too. Their work here features some of Germany's most known actors in supporting roles including Thalbach, Selge, Herzsprung, Ochsenknecht, Schilling, Burkhard, Milberg and von Dohnányi. The title character is played by Sabin Tambrea for 2 thirds of the film and by Sebastian Schipper, who just directed the very successful "Victoria", for the final chapter when the character has aged considerably.

I thought this film could have been cut short on many occasions, certainly down to a runtime of 100 minutes without losing anything of worth. Tambrea (who always reminds me of a young Cumberbatch with less talent, not that BC has a lot of himself) got a German Film Award nomination and this really baffled me. I thought there was nothing natural at all about his performance here. It all seems artificial and forced, but maybe that is just my personal perception. Anyway, when Schipper took over it became better, still not a good film, but the change in talent became visible. And I liked the ending of the film, which was also the ending of Ludwig. Talking about visual, this is probably the only area where the film is mostly convincing in terms of the sets, costumes etc. All this, however, cannot make up for the lack of an entertaining or thrilling story and the lack of an actor who is up to the task to play the title character beyond over-the-top mannerisms. Weak period piece, not recommended.
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good intentions
Kirpianuscus18 January 2016
costumes. and atmosphere. and nothing else to define it . because the lead actor seems be prisoner of his role. because the film is too long for give a credible message. because the good point remains the good intentions and the bad point is only the same good intentions. a film who presents not bad acting around a wax doll. and only regret is to not deserve a real good subject. sure it is not the worst historical film. but Sabin Tambrea seems be lost in middle of his work.and the memories about biography of Ludwig or about the magnificent film by Luchino Visconti are stairs who not advantage this Ludwig II. Sebastian Schipper saves a part of lead character. but the last scenes not are the wise manner to transform a sketch in a portrait.
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A disgrace to Ludwig II
JethrovanderWilk3 July 2018
This movie is portraying Ludwig as a weak and disabled good for nothing king. What they forget to point out in this movie is that Ludwig was one of the greatest artists that ever lived. Together with his friend, idol and partner Richard Wagner he created the greatest and most beautiful monument to European culture in history. In his short life Ludwig created more out of pure passion then most people ever will. If you want to be introduced to king Ludwig: do not watch this movie because it is completely failing to portray him. Instead go for the perfect ''Ludwig II'' by Visconti, The tv series ''Wagner'' starring Richard Burton or ''Ludwig II Glanz und Ende eines Königs'' by Helmut Käutner.
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In the Court of the Swan King
persistenceofvision14 November 2019
I'm not sure why this has such a low rating while Visconti's sluggish, badly dubbed movie is considered a masterpiece. All the acting is fine; the relationship between the king and his handsome equerry Hornig is sensitively and sympathetically handled; there's plenty of Wagner on the soundtrack and, as you would expect, plenty of smashing shots of castles.
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Bad characterisation
vedrankrizic29 November 2018
This movie projects King Ludwig 2 in very bad and mostly wrong way. I was very dissapointed by the storyline.
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