In Hamburg, an aged sorcerer is searching for a replacement. Freddie, who's about 12, finds the wizard's book of spells and knows enough to read a few lines to his friend Emma. She repeats ... See full summary »
In Hamburg, an aged sorcerer is searching for a replacement. Freddie, who's about 12, finds the wizard's book of spells and knows enough to read a few lines to his friend Emma. She repeats the lines adding exasperation about Mickey, a boy who's often mean to her. The next morning, Mickey finds himself in Emma's body, and Emma finds herself in Mickey's body. The wizard tracks down the book, takes it back, and disappears, leaving Freddy with no way to reverse the spell, which becomes permanent in 54 hours. Freddy, Emma, and Mickey must work together to search out a solution, while making discoveries about sex roles, courage, friendship, and each other. Written by
This film is obviously aimed at a very young age group of, I would estimate, nine to twelve year olds. Nevertheless, it contains enough charm to fascinate, though not enthral, older viewers too. By no means for the first time in the history of cinema, two people swap their bodies by magic. As usual, they are very different personalities, and in this case they have the advantage of being in their formative years. Emma, who is good at school and such a good swimmer that she is being considered for training for the Olympic Games, and Mickey, both played by Sarah Hannemann and Nick Seidensticker, are helped in their plight by their classmate Four Eyes, played by Philipp Blank, who has a very different, more practical character from the leading pair. Before he loses the book of magic which enabled Emma and Mickey to swap bodies, Four Eyes deciphers the fact that they only have fifty-four hours to reverse the magic. Then the magician disappears, making the race against time even more difficult.
The three children playing the leading roles are sufficiently good to give credibility to the three characters, and how they cope with the situations they land up in.
The film is set in Hamburg, and does not fail to show a backdrop of various typical buildings in fairly ordinary parts of the city, the highlight of which is a short visit to Hamburg Dungeon.
Albert Tartov, the magician played by Pinkas Braun, displays even more than the magicians in other films that his magic cannot do everything imaginable. For instance, instead of the usual animals, he has a tortoise, which, of course, does not have quite the mobility of many other creatures.
The other characters do not get much time to develop within the plot, and tend too much towards displaying stereotypes.
Conforming to the main purpose of the body swap genre, Emma and Mickey are helped by the insights their consciousness in someone else's body presents them with, as the plot unfolds. The ending is not entirely predictable, although the direction of the film is relatively obvious.
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