Movie Review: The Devil’s Mistress (2016)

Starring: Tatiana Pauhofova, Karl Markovics and Gedeon Burkhard

Directed by: Filip Renc

The life and career of Czech film actress Lida Baarova who happened to fall in love with high ranking Nazi official Joseph Goebbels. The Devil’s Mistress depicts both the rise to stardom and fall from grace of Lida who was involved in one of the 20th century’s most intriguing love affairs.

I’ve mentioned this a number of times in the past but I’m always looking to expand and explore into the foreign film market. I generally tend to watch either British or American movies and very rarely stray from the familiar so this year, while I haven’t watched many, I have tried to watch more foreign movies than I normally would and The Devil’s Mistress ticked all the right boxes for me. A Czech movie, which I believe this would be the first that I’d have seen and the story focuses around Nazi Germany which has always been an interest of mine through school and beyond. Also after having a quick glance through the cast I saw that Karl Markovics was to play Joseph Goebbels which I was quite excited about as Markovics is the star of my favourite foreign language movie, The Counterfeiters, which is a must see if you haven’t already.

Tatiana Pauhofova played lead role Lida Baariva and she was truly phenomenal in her role as she so captivating to watch as her relationship with Joseph Goebbels intensifies and comes to a dramatic halt. She stole each and every scene that she was in and the movie benefitted by solely focusing on Lida and her story and not swaying away from it. Zdenka Prochazkova was also fantastic as an 80 year old Lida Baariva who was telling her story to a young journalist and while she didn’t have a huge part to play, she was very effective when utilised. The set design and costume choices were great as both aspects of the movie really helped The Devil’s Mistress look and feel genuine and raw.

Initially I was looking forward to seeing Karl Markovics in another movie but as Joseph Goebbels he seemed a little out of sorts. Every scene he seemed to feature in looked dubbed and I hate dubbing with a passion. When people’s lips are out of sync with the words and they don’t match up it’s completely off putting while it’s happening and at times when Goebbels was featured heavily I was a little less interested which was a bit of a shame. Also the sex scene between Goebbels and Lida was very awkward looking and strange to watch and Markovics’s facial expressions of ecstasy and bliss were odd and hilarious and the actor who played Adolf Hitler didn’t seem to suit the role and didn’t seem capable of playing a role of such magnitude despite Hitler not really being a prominent figure within the movie.

Overall, The Devils Mistress was an intriguing watch which was carried by lead actress Tatiana Pauhofova. Some of her support actors were a little ropey to say the least and at times the movie appeared to be dubbed which is something I hate in movies.


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