|Index||9 reviews in total|
Usually I tend to avoid German movies for reasons that are rather
dubious, but yesterday I let my friend drag me into "Ein Freund von
mir" - and I'm glad that he did.
"Ein Freund von mir" is a slow-paced film that tells the story of young urban professional Karl (Daniel Brühl) who by chance gets to know casual labourer Hans (Jürgen Vogel). The movie is almost entirely devoted to showing the development of their friendship and the numerous tests it has to pass. I think the director keeps an excellent balance between dialog and visuals throughout the whole movie - it is neither dialog-heavy nor does it shy away from showing very authentic conversations when they are necessary. Authenticity for me is probably the most important quality of the film. Not once did I have the feeling that a scene couldn't have easily happened "in real life". While this does not necessarily make a good movie (after all, real life can be pretty boring), it adds immensely to this one because much of its appeal consists of identifying oneself with various situations in the movie. In that sense, many many scenes really worked for me.
"Ein Freund von mir" is a thoughtful, moving but still quite funny movie that never has to try hard to get its story across, for me the best film I've seen since Linklater's "Before Sunrise".
Definitively one of the ten best, to my opinion most likely The best
movie produced and released in Germany this year. A masterpiece,
story-, acting-, picture- and sound-wise. Vogel as Hans is hilariously
funny, Brühl outstanding as his real counterpart and a compelling
Simone Timoteo. Entertaining and moving. Once again and even more than
the first time Schipper has proved his outstanding talent for subtle
I saw it in a crowded cinema, the audience was laughing through half of the movie, though it reminded me of Ozus evenness as much as of van Sants verité - style (e.g. the long, uncut shots) without being documentary or raw at all (absolutely NO dogma movie). If you think Gerry (Gus van Sant) was beautiful but somehow boring (at least when watching it a second time), watch this one - you will like it. A movie as simple as ambiguous done with an outstanding reliable sense of style.
either life is nothing or it must be everything
Despite his successful career at a car insurance company, Karl (Daniel Bruhl) is unfulfilled by life. Sent to a car rental company as a spy, he meets the wild Hans (Jurgen Vogel) whose intrinsic happiness and carefree nature is incomprehensible to Karl. Thus unravels the friendship between our two protagonists, with the help of some excellent comic scenes involving nude driving and a cleverly constructed Spanish dialogue between Karl and Stelle (Sabine Timoteo). Sebastion Schipper introduces his characters with humour and compassion and reflects on the complexity and contradictions of human nature. Unfortunately, however, the viewer is left unsatisfied by the depth to which Shipper's narrative takes us.Indeed, much like Karl at the film's beginning, the viewer leaves this movie feeling somewhat unfulfilled.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Ein Freund von mir" or "A Friend of Mine" is a German movie from 10
years ago and it is the second film written and directed by German
actor Sebatian Schipper. His 4th work, "Victoria", made massive waves
recently. But back to this one here. Daniel Brühl and Jürgen Vogel are
among the most known German actors and Sabine Timoteo, Michael
Wittenborn and Jan Ule Gerster (known for his filmmaking) may be known
to German audiences as well. This is a film about friendship and human
relationships, about two men who, despite being entirely different,
manage to make a real connection, especially from Vogel's character's
side who invests a lot here.
Unfortunately, I must say that the two protagonists did very little for me, especially Brühl. I have seen him in much better roles in terms of writing ad acting. All the car references and the fast driving also didn't do much for me and felt like an equally weak tribute to the German Manta/automobile movies from the early 1990s. It was more fun to watch when the supporting players, especially Timoteo's made an impact and we see their relationships with the two main characters. However, all in all, this does not make up for the little memorable value in this movie. I would not recommend it and I am actually glad it was really short, just 80 minutes. Thumbs down.
The movie business in general tries to stick to the formulas that are known to work, and German films are no exception. Sometime in the mid-90s, Till Schweiger started to mass-produce comedy-drama hybrid movies and it seems that this is the way to go nowadays. "A Friend Of Mine" is full of great cinematography, moody and melancholic songs, a very slow pace and a lot of pseudo-philosophical garbage. But taking a few typical, well worn-out formulas doesn't always make for a great film. You can have a slow, subtle and gentle movie and it's brilliant ("Before Sunrise") and you can do the same and fail miserably ("A Friend Of Mine"). The story line is extremely uneventful and the characters unconvincing. Many parts of the script don't relate to the evolution of the story at all and are just puzzling at best. One thing proved: It takes a Jim Jarmusch to turn a story going nowhere into something very watchable.
Still on the middle of watching it and having a great time, I find difficult to read negative comments on such a beautiful work, but I know people have their perspective, expectation and taste, not to mention their moments. Perhaps if I had seen this tomorrow last or next year, my assessment of it would have been different. Today I'm very much enjoying the pace, the dialogs, the interaction. So I'll close my laptop and sink fully into it. Well almost I'm told there isn't enough lines to finish! quantity over quality! I have not been laughing for the last five minutes which shows this film does not rely on laugh only as I'm still enjoying it!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If this movie is anything at all, it's an epitome of the state German
film is in: incredibly clichéd and unimaginative, ultimately boring
output of a team that could certainly do better. But all we get is
boring, boring Bruehl in yet another of his trademark roles as the
talented and sensitive, yet repressed nerd. Vogel plays the role of an
intellectual man's version of a working class hangdog/hedonist,
probably a reference to the re-emerging proletariat in Germany, one of
the few things to enjoy in this movie.
Character development is implausible, sometimes ridiculous, getting worse with the rest of the movie, which, at the start at least visually interesting, settles down into a concatenation of stereotypes and clichés which we by now came to expect from what is called "new German cinema". Avoid it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
OK - the guys were beating Will Smith's record with Hitch (permiering
in three cities at the day of the opening) - And hey - they even
doubled Will's score and made it to the Guiness' Book of records ...
and by doing so they managed to torture even more people, than a usual
premiere would allow for.
This movie is absolutely disappointing. Brühl is as versatile as a haystack. Vogel is trying really hard, but doesn't stand a chance against a script, which is as wooden as my grandfather's walking stick. The girl (forgot her name) is nice, but one doesn't understand, why she's saying such stupid things like: "Some cake? I just made it myself" - if she'd be as cool as Juliette Lewis in Gilbert Grape - OK. But the lines this girl is forced to say are so tremendously uninspired. Even Jack Nicolson would have problems to find her cute - and he's basically jumping on everything which has two legs ... .
The story is a nightmare: Frustrated, autistic insurance geek is meeting freaky gadabout who's becoming the first friend he ever had. The broker is getting the girl (probably also the first one, he ever had) and that's pretty much, what the story is. If they'd at least get drunk together, or listen to good music, or smoke some pot, or do anything, which one would call a life ... but no: these chaps are driving around naked in rental cars ... uuuhsaaa ... very inspiring ... .
The creative level of the piece is somewhere around zero. Schipper's directing is as entertaining as herpes. The camera work has some peaks here'n'there in terms of composition. But that's it. Don't expect any real humor, magic or thrill. There isn't any. Don't expect anything unusual. It's not going to happen.
Last but not least: the music. Belle and Sebastian meets Dinosaur Jr after rehab meets Berlin underground wannabe.
The makers should focus on TV-movies. This film is definitely not worth the effort to buy a ticket. If there's anything like new German cinema, this piece is far from being a part of it.
Namely, the German teeth belonging to Jürgen Vogel are one of the most
unpalatable aspects of this unpalatable film. I never could quite
understand the US criticism of the state of British teeth when there
are people like Herr Vogel showing off their horrible nashers on the
widescreen. German dentistry leaves a lot to be desired on this
I had the misfortune of watching this piece of pretentious tripe with German subtitles. I didn't get it at all. Hans is repulsive so why was the pseudoVicar so smitten? X-filme deserve to go down the toilet for this rubbish. How l-o-n-g since the triumph of Lola Rennt? (Run Lola Run?) Too long! What a load of carp!!
|Official site||Plot keywords||Main details|
|Your user reviews||Your vote history|