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|Index||25 reviews in total|
31 out of 38 people found the following review useful:
Not for everyone, 10 October 2006
Author: Mattias Petersson from Stockholm, Sweden
I watched this movie at a preview here in Stockholm a week or so ago.
The theater was filled with people and i must admit i never thought
this kind of movie would have that kind of attraction on people.
I can start by saying that i really liked this movie. I'm not sure i was entertained by it, and many times it was not a pleasant experience, but still the overwhelming feeling is that i really liked it. This is not a movie for everyone though. A lot of people will probably have a hard time with the strange mix between comedy and tragedy, others will be put off simply because of the themes and the presentation. There is a lot of nudity here, a lot of explicit language and scenes that are disturbing in more ways than one. A lot of people will probably find it gratuitous, although i feel it's more a part of an uncompromising attitude towards the movie and the story.
The story revolves around two brothers, Bruno and Michael. Bruno is the brother that really stuck with me. Moritz Bleibtreu is excellent and the character really displays how the complexity of a human being can cause you to both hate and pity him. The other actors are also very good, which is probably necessary considering the subject of the movie.
I have to stress one last time that this is not a movie for everyone. And by that i don't mean that it's demanding in the sense that you have to be a film-student to appreciate it. Rather i mean that the themes and the presentation are probably too much for many people. This movie is rough around the edges, very blunt and raw. These are the characteristics i appreciate it for, but i realize other people won't feel the same way. My guess is that either you really like it or you hate it. But you'll never know until you watch it, and therefore i feel it's still a strong recommendation. 7/10.
33 out of 48 people found the following review useful:
you should try this one, 9 March 2006
Author: moritzbonn-1 from Germany
only if you are able to deal with its strong topic. It's about the
meaninglessness of being depressed in an unsatisfying environment built
up by oneself. Two brothers Michael and Bruno grow up with different
characters and backgrounds. What keeps them together is the inability
to create a stable life on their own what can be predominantly deduced
on a lack of mother love or interest. I don't want to go into detail or
present any spoilers. Therefor check out other reviews. What I really
appreciate is the surprisingly good work of all actors who do great in
this movie. Especcially Christian Ulmen (who needs little words to say
a lot)knows how to present Michael's character so perfectly that it's
really a pleasure to watch him on the screen. I also like the
development of the plot. You don't know how the characters will develop
and how their story will end. Both brothers are not changing in big
steps within the movie but in the end you are surprised how far they
have drifted from each other.
Just watch it yourself to make your own opinion but please don't expect it to be to entertaining.
21 out of 28 people found the following review useful:
French novel softened and moved to Germany, 5 March 2006
Author: (email@example.com) from All over Germany
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Elementarteilchen is Roehlers reinterpretation of Houellebecqs novel "particules elementaires". While certainly not a faithful adaption in terms of the level of hardness and nihilism (the biggest point of criticism by other reviewers and critics), i was surprised how many details and scenes of the book he got right, and i was even more surprised to see how well he was able to move the very french setting to Germany, that is, the special parallel Roehler-Germany depicted in all of his movies. Recasting the french nudist camps of the Cote d'Azur to the campsites next to the reservoirs of East Germany was really a stroke of genius that impressed me. The casting is a bit problematic: Ulmen is a former German music television clown jock, and Bleibtreu was mostly seen in stupid German comedies. In the beginning it was hard for me to get used to watch them in serious roles. Additionally my viewing experience was significantly impaired by complete morons in the audience who thought they were watching a comedy and laughed at about every line delivered (completely independent of what was said). Also, the actors taken for the main characters at young age were too different from those playing the grown ones. The young Annabelle was as beautiful as described in the book, and the grown one was just Franka Potente again, a woman who does not fit that role at all. I think Germany really needs more different actors, its just subideal to take the same 10 people (half of them television presenters) over and over again. But regardless of the poor material Roehler had to work with, he really has created a movie worth watching, IF you are ready to accept it as a commentary on Houellebecqs novel, which does accept the problems are there and cause human tragedies, but refuses to be the same extremist nihilistic whining and see no solution at all, not even a partial one. The limited luck granted to the brothers and their women in the end is quite similar to the luck granted to the lovers Robert and Marie in Roehlers earlier film "Der alte Affe Angst" of 2003. The treatment of the book reminded my a bit of Soderbergh's "Solaris" of 2002, where the setting and prevailing mood were completely changed, but details were so surprisingly accurate, that there is no doubt that the director highly respects the original text. Recommended for people with brains, a history of dysfunctional relationships and deeply-rooted European angst inside them.
17 out of 23 people found the following review useful:
Bold & truthful-- It takes us down a new and unknown dramatic pathway, 30 July 2006
Author: bopdog from Was UK Now US
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
CAUTION: MAJOR SPOILERS!!! This is a 'foreign' movie to me--- it is
German. I am not. I think British and American audiences will really
like it, find much to admire and enjoy here--- but a bit of explanation
will help. I will strive to be succinct.
I've seen a couple dozen German movies over the years, but do not know German media--- TV, books, pop movies, etc. Maybe 'Atomised' is standard fare in Germany? But to me it was unusual. The story was not predictable. It was not yet another version of the same old things. Maybe it is in its homeland, but not here in the UK. So 'Atomised' was a bit exciting and engaging simply for its freshness and uniqueness. And--- it was also very well acted, and the story was compelling as well. So all that adds up to a movie that keeps your attention. Not 'nail-biting', perhaps, and maybe not 'on the edge of your seat', but keenly and raptly attentive.
The story is about two half brothers-- Brother number one a brilliant (and eventually Nobel Prize winning) scientist going through a 3-year detour in his comet-rise to genetic engineering stardom. Brother number two, played by the male lead from Tom Tykwer's 'Run Lola Run', Moritz Bleibtreu, is a charming and probably (?) good looking school teacher--- married, with a baby in the house. But he is a very disturbed sex addict, in the worst meaning of the term. He's also a writer--- maybe an essayist, maybe short stories--- the movie doesn't make that very clear. But it does show him as a neo-Nazi of sorts, producing well-written but unpublishable tracts that rail against blacks and other 'sub races' (sic).
Brother two is incapable of receiving any love or happiness or fulfilment from his wife, and he makes lewd and overtly sexual advances towards his 15 year-old female students. As a teenage boy, in a flashback, he even has a sexual encounter with his own sleeping mother. Very creepy. Worse, if that's possible, he brutally smashes a cat to death during his sexual 'assault' on his mother, simply because the cat closed its eyes when he reached sexual climax--- indicating, evidently, that the cat was judging the boy as disgusting. For that, the adult brother two recalls with a satisfied rage, the ****ing cat had to die.
Was the darkness of brother two over the top? Was it too dark? I don't know. It felt realistic, but was the portrayal intrinsic to the story? I had sympathy for brother two--- he was obviously 'lost', in the worst way. he cried a lot, and the look of despair and horror in his eyes was so intense that one had to feel compassion for the guy. But then the cat killing episode turned me off, and turned me against him, so I felt horror AT him, rather than WITH him.
The women in the movie were fantastic actresses. Brother two meets a woman who is probably 4 or 5 years older than he, and she too is a sex addict. She takes him to weird 'leather bar' kind of sex clubs, and they trade partners and engage in wild and sordid sex. But she does seem to care for him, maybe even love him. Brother two and this lady certainly seem to need each other--- and we get the feeling that they are, somehow, very good for each other. But then she has had some disease of the bones for a long while, but it had been in remission--- but she had not told brother two about it. The disease flares up, and she is left paralyzed in the legs for life--- and we suspect maybe her life is going to be short, as well. Brother two is confused, and while he eventually decides to take the woman in, and live with his love, even if she is crippled, he dithers long enough for her to get depressed and kill herself. Brother two goes permanently nuts, hallucinates his dead lover's presence (oddly, even though he is halucinating, and could therefore dream up any pleasant reality he wanted, no matter how 'rosy' or fantastic it might be, he STILL chooses to see her crippled, in her recently acquired wheelchair, rather than as a whole person), and spends the rest of his life in the loony bin.
Brother one, meanwhile, meets childhood sweetheart Annabelle, played extremely well by Franka Potente, also of 'Run Lola Run' (and small parts in 'The Bourne Identity' and 'The Bourne Supremeacy', as well as the lead in 'The Princess and the Warrior'). Potente is amazing here. This is obviously the kind of part she does best, because here she was believable, compelling, and wonderful. Her character also has some disease, and when she gets pregnant by bother one, she has to have an abortion and a hysterectomy. But it all turns out well in the end--- and she and brother one live happily ever after.
Whew! Oh wait--- the brothers' mother is shown in flashbacks as a crazy and irresponsible slut, who is probably singlehandedly responsible for the brothers' hesitations and mental problems.
The movie is not perfect. but it does get points for being innovative, and new. For me, anyway, it was a fresh and intriguing look into a believable world of some very intense people. Creepy in parts--- redemptive and inspirational in other parts. I wouldn't want to see this kind of movie every week--- but once in a while this dark and intense artsy look at things is probably good. Like eating fiber in your diet. I gave this an 8 out of 10.
15 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
Some will deny it, but most will find themselves in it, 18 June 2007
Author: Balazs Csaszar (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Hungary
Elementary particles starts out as a quest for existence and what this word really means. Two brothers (half-brothers to be precise) realize their lives are not what kids dream about however much they seem to fit in the mechanism". One is having doubts about his devotion to chase his scientific pioneering while the other does not seem to find comfort in teaching literature any more while being constantly turned down by publishers and neglected by his wife. They both have to reach back to their roots to be able to find out where to go from here, though Bruno (Moritz Bleibtrau) does so amidst rather compulsive circumstances, in a clinic he ends up in. They have not been given much of a head-start in life with their capricious, self-indulgent, impulsive and utterly careless hippie mother who left them both with their troubled and lonesome adolescence. Life has taken no mercy either that is not the nature of things. Michael (Christian Ulmen) however, finds some inspiration to carry on in the shape of an old, more-than-friend girl pal, while Bruno has to rethink and reestablish his everyday needs and desires. He is living his second childhood a time without constraints but full of uncertainty and odd, unbalanced characters trying to escape his feeling of being redundant. Oscar Roehler's stark and thick drama seems a little exaggerating, a bit too much, nevertheless depicts life as it is: after stripped from all the fake Christmas wrappers, often desperate, pitiful at most times and forgiving only every once in a while.
12 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
Shares all flaws with the novel, then adds some more, 18 September 2006
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Sometimes the ultimate disappointment is when a movie turns out exactly
as expected. My expectation had been that given the ensemble of
well-established German movie stars, this adaptation of Michel
Houellebeques micro-scandalous "Elements particulaires" would be heavy
on the contrived plot but fail to provide the sleaze and grime that was
the sole reason to read the original novel. Just how scandalous can a
movie become that stars Moritz Bleibtreu, Franka Potente, and Martina
Gedeck? You name it.
Not that sleaze could have saved this movie; it surely couldn't save the novel. Both collapse under the weight of a story that is ridiculous in its contrivance. (SPOILERS AHEAD). There are two half-brothers. One is a suicidal sex maniac who fabricates racist pamphlets, masturbates on his pupils' homework essays, and falls in love with a swinger-club co-swinger. Unfortunately, this love of his life first becomes quadroplegic, then commits suicide. The second brother is a scientist disinterested in sex, but he also meets a woman who also lands in hospital (at least they both stay alive). Her former lover became a mass murderer in a satanic sect, by the way; not that it matters. Two more women die, in fact, providing the movie with an acceptable body count.
So that's how much plot is needed to lament how sex spoils our lives. If all this sounds ridiculous, wait to see how the two brothers solve their problems. One lands in a psychiatric ward where he can hallucinate about his deceased lover. You figure he will never write nazi prose or set foot in a swinger club again, so we can be happy for him. The other guy finds out how to clone humans so that sex is no longer needed in the first place; as a result, world peace ensues. I don't make this up.
Houellebecqs novel sort of worked for two reasons. First, because of the sheer exploitation value of the book, the sleaze factor. Second, because of a certain frankness and urgency that Houellebecq brought to this work (his subsequent books became more and more formulaic, right down to the unaccepatable "Platform"). Director/Screenwriter Oskar Roehler grossly underestimated these factors when he tried to adapt this stuff for his all-star cast. As a result, his movie is not only undaring and boring but fundamentally lifeless. The crap that Houellebecq wrote was heartfelt at least; the crap that Roehler shot was just the crap it was.
The four stars I am willing to throw at this movie are all for the adorable Nina Hoss in the role of the brother's hippie mom. All for you, Nina, and don't you share them with the other kids!
12 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
read the book, forget about the movie..., 20 September 2007
Author: max4719 from Austria
I really looked forward to this film because I've read the book of Michel Houllebecq and this book was quite an interesting piece of literature...written in a very direct and unusual way, compelling, intellectually challenging. But still...this comment is not about the book so a few words about the film: My impression was that they failed to create the typical kind of atmosphere that you experience reading one of Houllebecqs novels. the story often seemed to be an arbitrary mix of some scenes of the book...needless to say - having read the book I knew the deeper sense behind many scenes but I guess without that I would have asked myself quite often...'what has this to do with the rest of the film and why should this be of any interest??' This film never really convinced me nor caught my interest and I think the only remarkable thing about this movie was the solid acting performance of Moritz Bleibtreu in the role as "Bruno". So, all in all it is maybe a better choice for you to grab the book out of the shelf instead of wasting your time with this second-class interpretation.
14 out of 23 people found the following review useful:
Tragically Weird, 24 March 2009
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
In Berlin, the scientist Michael Djerzinski (Christian Ulmen) decides
to return to Ireland to proceed his research about genetics that he
left behind three years ago. Meanwhile, his racist, bigoted, sexually
disturbed and addicted in masturbation half-brother Bruno Klement
(Moritz Bleibtreu) has just divorced from his wife and is interned in a
psychiatric clinic for therapy. Michael and Bruno were left by their
hippie mother that moved to Poona when they were child and their
dysfunctional childhood reflects in their personality and sexual
behavior. When Michael is informed that the remains of his grandmother
should be replaced since a new road will pass by the cemetery, he
visits his childhood sweetheart Annabelle (Franka Potente) and finds
that she is an experienced woman that has had a crush on him since she
was five years old. Further, she had had many deceptions in her love
affairs, while Michael is still virgin. Meanwhile Bruno meets the
liberal Christiane (Martina Gedeck) in a nudist camp and he believes
she is the woman of his life, until a tragedy happens.
"Elementarteilchen" is a tragically weird, sometimes very unpleasant, low budget movie. Bruno is hateful character, with his sick and selfish behavior and prejudice. His essay about black people and his comments about Brazil are despicable. However, the performance of Moritz Bleibtreu is top-notch. I also liked very much the performance of Martina Gedeck. Christian Ulmen and Franka Potente complete the good cast of this strange and dramatic romance. My vote is six.
Title (Brazil): "Partículas Elementares" ("Elementary Particles")
7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
"you don't get points for trying' ", 3 December 2008
Author: taifunu from Romania
... or what Ostrakosmos ( another poster ) said ;)
truth be told, the movie tries. it takes random scenes from the novel, it even translates them onto the screen line by line... sometimes. some other times, it rewrites them completely... and poorly. IMO, the problem is that we get only half of the story. or rather, one third... OK, one can't film social criticism - maybe- but at least one shouldn't butcher a splendid novel. we get part of Bruno's desperation and madness, but we don't get to feel or see Michel. what we are given instead is a mere caricature... and it's a pity. the two brothers were each at one end of the human emotions specter. we were given the lower end, but how about the higher one ? I agree, it IS a challenge to bring Michel onto the screen, in a believable way. a challenge the director and the scriptwriter took... and failed at. in the same way, Annabelle's story is ...not diminished, but almost nonexistent. her drama was the catalyst for Michel's drama, but...the movie does not show this. in any way. and on top of all that, the movie starts with the novel's ending, ruining the whole point ! AND it does not touch at all the revolution brought by Michel's utopia ... long story short, in Bruno's language, the novel "delivers" . the movie does not.
great soundtrack, though ;)
oh, to think what Wim Wenders could have done with this material...
12 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
Somewhat worth seeing, 24 September 2006
Author: LuxLeThor from Denmark
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
(excuse me for the lousy use of the English language) A bit in a twist
about this one... My experience throughout the movie was a mix of
astonishment and confusion. The actors are absolutely brilliant
(especially Moritz Bleibtreu and Martina Gedeck) but the story line is
a bit of a mess. Must confess that I haven't read the book though, but
as an "outsider" i feel as if the director wants to put as much book
material as possible into a predefined certain amount of celluloid and
thereby losing most of the unprepared audience. It just doesn't work.
There are too many loose ends that are never tied together (SPOILER
WARNING) e.g. the student that Bruno hits on, Bruno's Oedipus complex,
Bruno's father who is introduced and the quickly abandoned again,
Bruno's wife and daughter who completely disappears from the plot,
Annabelle's ex (who is mentioned to be a serial killer). All together
there are "chapters" in the movie but they are not connected well
enough - it all just falls short of something great. The main theme (in
my eyes) that Bruno himself pursues sexual satisfaction leading him
beyond the line of sanity and his brother Michael as the ultra-virgin
pursuing a life of fidelity in the name of science suffers quite a bit
on this behalf.
The use of humor is (to say the least) debatable - and even as confusing as the story line! You never know when to cry or laugh, for example when Bruno masturbates to his own mother and then kills a kitten - too twisted and sad to be really funny - too twisted not to be. This is a major inconsistency. When the nature of a scene is to feel pity for a character, the episode is ridiculed by a somewhat lame (and not very) funny oddity, totally killing the intimacy. This happens several times.
All in all the movie is worth seeing but it is definitely the work of the actors who carry the load.
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