A man is interviewed by a sympathetic woman. His tale unfolds, of hard work that never pleases his parents, of a father who denigrates his efforts, of an indifferent mother. He builds them ... See full summary »
A man is interviewed by a sympathetic woman. His tale unfolds, of hard work that never pleases his parents, of a father who denigrates his efforts, of an indifferent mother. He builds them a house. Instead of offering their flat to him and his bride, they give the flat up, so he goes to Munich to work in construction, bringing his wife who is soon pregnant. They buy things on credit; he works overtime. He shows up with flowers and expensive gifts. When construction slows and he works less overtime, he cannot adjust his spending habits: he needs to be loved. Pressures mount. When he snaps, and violence ensues, who will be his victim? Written by
Made in a hurry for German TV, this demonstration of the adage that You Can't Buy Love is shot in a quasi-documentary style that evokes the British lumpenprole aesthetic of Mike Leigh and Ken Loach. But Fassbinder is no social-worker/muckraker; this tale of a guy who just wants a little tenderness has the lockstep tragedic structure of Racine or Aeschylus. As in most of Fassbinder's best work, like FOX AND HIS FRIENDS, the impulse toward melodrama is naked and unashamed. The score, by Peer Raben, exceeds his most brilliant efforts. And the last line, and the hero's reaction, caught in nightmarish freeze-frame, stands as one of Fassbinder's greatest masterstrokes.
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