|Index||3 reviews in total|
This movie was so much fun. I really had a good time. I saw the trailer and
it looked pretty good and I'm a sucker for german comedy so I decided to
watch this on TV. It was great. Really simple and well done. The plot was
very funny and kept good time. The acting was up to scratch with Herbert
Knaup doing better in the second half of the movie and Alex Lara very nice
to look at all through. It is not serious for even a second which is great
and it had me entertained all the way through. The ending is also pretty
funny. What can I say I loved it.
The story is about a wealthy banker who is about to go on a holiday to the South Pacific when he loses all his money on a dodgy investment deal. He has to keep up appearances though and the lengths he goes to to do this are quite hilarious.
Not-bad German film that gets you in if you can deal with a slightly slow
start. An upper middle-class exec discovers that he is broke and on the
verge of losing his job just as he is about to leave on a South Pacific
holiday (which hasn't been paid for) with his wife and
Initially there is panic and fragmentation of the family as they each try their own ways to best deal with the crisis. But as their options disappear one by one, the family is forced to retreat back to the family home, hiding in their basement (which is conveniently spacious and well-appointed, including, bizarrely, a swimming pool) so the neighbours will think that they have in fact gone on their holiday. This however proves a godsend as they are able by remaining hidden to discover crucial things about neighbours and work colleagues that they would not otherwise have known. The film explores themes of middle class neurosis that seem on the surface to be particularly German but in fact apply to all suburban Westerners - adult male identity, alienation within marriage, work as identity, and how our lives are governed by the opinions of our neighbours.
At first Albert the husband comes across as a bumbling no-hoper and his wife Sabine treats him as such, but as their situation becomes more desperate, Albert, Sabine and daughter Sandra grow closer and begin to work as a team to overcome the escalating sequence of problems they must face.
And if the ending doesn't raise a smile, you just didn't get it. Make the effort and deal with the subtitles, this film is worth a look.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Südsee, eigene Insel" or "Our Island in the South Pacific" is a German
movie from 1999, so this one is already over 15 years old. It runs for
90 minutes roughly and the writer and director is Thomas Bahmann. It is
still one of his most known works, but maybe not his most known. There
are some serious components in the plot here, like burglary, financial
ruin etc., but honestly even these are really in it just for comedic
purposes as well. It's 99% comedy. The cast includes a whole lot of
known names, most of them even more known in the late 1990s than today,
but the likes of lead actor Knaup, Sawatzki, Lara, Potente, Korittke,
Becker and others are also known today to everybody with an interest in
German cinema. The story, and film in general, is only partially on par
with the cast list. This is the story of a somewhat wealthy businessman
who loses all his money and he cannot go to holidays with his family
because he cant afford it. So after getting sent away by an aunt, he
just decides it is time to spend the holidays in the basement, so that
the rich neighbors will not see that they got no money all of a sudden.
Solid plot, but I am not sure if it is enough for a full feature film.
Maybe a 35-minute short film may have been sufficient.
But it's not a weak outcome either. Knaup carries the film for the most part and it's nice to see he also has decent comedic talent and timing which I did not really expect. Sawatzki and Lara, however, are not that great with comedy and they really only shine during these moments when the script is at its best regarding their characters. There are certainly also weak moments, but in favor of the two actresses you can also say that the script sometimes doesn't do them any favors. For example the story of Sawatzki's character wondering about divorcing her man because he is poor all of a sudden and makes her character look extremely unlikable. There are other weak moments in the script and a huge problem for the film in general (maybe the biggest problem) is the inclusion of scenes and developments that have little to do with reality, but sacrifice every realistic reference for (sometimes not too funny) comedic purposes. And this is where the film its rock-bottom. Luckily, thanks to Knaup and occasionally better writing, the movie also has its strong moments and, even if it is very close, I think these good moments are slightly more frequent than the bad moments. It's a really close call, but I recommend this one to everybody who likes German comedies. Thumbs up, a cautious thumbs-up.
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