The bank in question is located in a small town near Alex's grandfather's countyside dwelling, which consequently becomes a hideout. However, this tranquil location is conflicted in the shape of the neighbouring policeman, Robert and his wife, Susanne, who often visits the widowed grandfather. The prostitute and policeman are adequately written roles but the beast of this film lies within the complexities of Alex and Susanne's relationship.
Alex is mysterious, slightly aloof but intelligent. Despite his occupation, he is described as 'soft' by his ruthless boss, to which he doesn't reply or flinch, as Alex already realises this himself - he would like to be edgier and cut-and-thrust, yet this is not in his demeanour or perhaps his daily environment and history have repelled him from such personality traits. Surrounded by violence and outsiders may repulse Alex but he is familiar with danger and concludes his best opportunity to escape such social decay is to indeed risk danger. As our protagonist does not possess a naturally ruthless streak, he must briefly become such a character, a mindset he helps to create by beating a customer and playfully tricking Tamara wearing the balaclava he will later require. The latter scene perfectly demonstrates his curious relationship with violence and danger, as they share one of several cutely judged intimate moments.
Susanne is warm, motherly and seemingly ideal wife material yet in many ways, she is the most troubled but alarmingly 'real' character, beautifully played by Ursula Strauss. Alex and Susanne's attraction is much more intriguing and complicated than purely physical. However 'cold' Alex would like to be perceived as, they share a softness and a willingness to emphasise and show compassion. They emphasise with each other's predictament, Robert's issues and both bring comfort to Alex's grandfather, as she communicates and encourages his accordian playing, whilst Alex manages and attends to the farm. Although the unlikely pairing hold this connection, they are further attracted by each others existence - he is envious of her wealth and supposed tranquility, whilst she is secretly drawn towards a more complex and exciting state of living.
Secrets and hiding are a central theme throughout the film and it's characters - hiding from the city, the law, daily reality and most crucially, themselves, and in this sense, Revanche resembles elements of Haneke's modern classic, Cache (2005). Director, Spielmann is highly interested in intimacy and how such delicate moments can be captured and there is a stillness and authenticity in the film's intimate moments. The overall drama never feels forced and all scenes and subsequent events and actions are believable, as they are hard earnt and we understand how such emotional states come to be and why they occur. The title, Revanche, is a word of French origin, translated as 'revenge' but in Germany and Austria, it can be commonly meant as to seek another or a second chance - a thoughtful title for a thoughtful film.