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Weimar, Germany, in 1927. Best friends Günther and Paul ask themselves: is that really it, the highest point in life? They are convinced that they want to enjoy their lives to the full and without compromises - and they demand the same of love. Together with Günther's sister Hilde they spend a weekend in a summer house in the country, outside Berlin. Paul is fascinated by the girl and falls in love with her. And at first it looks like Paul's feelings are returned. But Hilde loves another. Secretly, she's meeting with a young, good-looking boy named Hans - Günther's former lover. But Hans, who works in the kitchen of a restaurant/dance club, is a young man from a much lower class. Then an excessive party takes place in the garden of the summer house. When Hans surprisingly joins the celebration, a roller coaster ride of feelings is set into motion which soon gets very much out of control. Written by
Philip S. Christensen
"Love In Thoughts" is a beautifully made, yet ultimately pretentious, German drama based on an event in the life of the author, Paul Krantz (who published under the name of Ernst E. Noth).
The film focuses on Paul's friendship with Guenter and his love for Guenter's sister, Hilde. This scenario is further complicated by the fact that Hilde is having an affair with Hans, a man that Guenter also loves. Paul and Guenter discuss taking their own lives, and those of their lovers, when their love has reached "it's zenith". Over the course of a weekend, Paul and Guenter are rejected by the objects of their affection and they reach the point where they have to decide whether or not to go through with their murder/suicide pact.
My biggest objection to the film is the treatment of Paul and Guenter's fatalistic view of love. Their actions are treated as grandiose and tragic. Personally, I'm not sure what is particularly heroic or romantic about two losers who turn homicidal/suicidal when their imaginary lovers reject them. This problem is compounded by the fact that Hilde and Hans are so unappealing. Hilde is the town bike, who not only disrespects her brother's emotions but is also rude to her best friend. Hans, on the other hand, is a chef with bad teeth, who doesn't appear to have anything going for him at all.
Despite the film's general pretentiousness and self importance, it does have many things to offer. Firstly, the actors. I enjoyed Daniel Bruehl's portrayal of Paul. He is a little bit pouty but the subtlety of his performance is a huge relief in comparison to August Diehl's hammy turn as Guenter. The film offers the chance to view another fine actor in Thure Lindhardt, who plays the creepy Hans. Furthermore, the film looks absolutely fantastic. The cinematography is stunning. The landscape is captured beautifully and a scene in which the teenagers get high on absinthe is wonderful filmed.
This is an accomplished film but by no means a great one. Despite its significant beauty, "Love In Thoughts" is ultimately hollow and insubstantial.
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