Bernd Willenbrock is a car dealer at Magdeburg, East Germany, a small, but nonetheless successful and well-reputed businessman who has made his way in the post-communist society. A ... See full summary »
Bernd Willenbrock is a car dealer at Magdeburg, East Germany, a small, but nonetheless successful and well-reputed businessman who has made his way in the post-communist society. A sympathetic wife, a nice house, a fast car, a house on the countryside - these are the attributes of material success that count for Willenbrock. Then, things slowly begin to move into a different direction: Although he loves his wife, Willenbrock is attracted by a young student who keeps him at distance. To do her a favor, he gives her father the job of a night-watchman. But one night, the watchman gets cruelly beaten by burglars. And a bit later, the burglars come to Willenbrock's house at night. This is where the illusion of a quiet, secure, and self-satisfied life reaches an end. Things start to go wrong, well-known procedures don't work anymore, hopes and expectations of all kinds turn into disappointments. Willenbrock is challenged by an increasing feeling of lost safety and control, and he has to ... Written by
Andreas Dresen's precise touch for achingly realistic East German drama doesn't fail in "Willenbrock". Magdeburg's urban scenery is modern and cold, the characters are hopelessly human, the situations and dialogs are sadly comic at times, and suspense is everywhere.
Axel Prahl (again!) and Inka Friedrich shine effortlessly as the well adapted well-off couple, with all their little and not so little troubles and secrets. Lovely, if it weren't a bit depressing.
After the touching "Halbe Treppe", "Willenbrock" is another hint that Andreas Dresen might just become an East German Mike Leigh. Concerned with small town real people, not always consistent in story and quality, but true to reality and always trusting his actors, which he chooses wisely.
20 of 24 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?