Woyzeck Review

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Trampled down Private Friedrich Johann Franz Woyzeck decides to stand up and avenge the infidelity of his wife.


From the Georg Buchner play (also adapted to Alban Berg’s opera Wozzeck), Kinski is the put-upon soldier who supplements his private’s pay as a guinea-pig for a nutritionist (who merrily foresees the asylum as the inevitable outcome of a diet of peas), and whose wife (Eva Mattes) has an affair with the dashing drum-major, much to the amusement of Woyzeck’s superior officers.

Like a tragic Buster Keaton, who hears the wind and earth telling him to avenge the infidelity, Kinski finds a truly piteous note in the midst of a stylised — was a 19th century military town ever so clean? — yet powerful drama. (The monkey gets to wear a military uniform.)

A great performance from Kinski aids this powerful tale of vengence.