Not even Leos Carax’s “Pola X” was as loose an adaptation of a literary source as “Julietta,” which spins Heinrich von Kleist’s novella “The Marquise of O” into the trance-dance age as three libidinous teens run wild during and after the annual Berlin Love Parade. Yanked out of its original setting, pic — adapted by scripter Jochen Bitzer and helmed by Christoph Stark — soon becomes a soaper, gushing with excessively explosive emotions and behavior quite out of sync with the mode of today’s ultra-hip German youth. A propulsive, cinematic approach is sacrificed for an increasingly insupportable drama, hurting pic both artistically and commercially, with slim theatrical prospects beyond key Continental territories.
Fleeing her boring but posh Stuttgart family for a weekend of sex and music in Berlin, Julietta (Lavinia Wilson) hooks up with — then loses in a run-in with police — drug-peddling b.f. Jiri (Matthias Koeberlin), then is raped by Max (Barnaby Metschurat). An accident brings Max and Jiri together, forming one of the more unconvincing love triangles in recent cinema, with several sullen druggies, lovers and parents trying to keep up with the emotional antics.