The dishonorably discharged Afghanistan veteran Thomas returns to his home village of Jerichow. Ali, a local Turkish-German businessman, owner of a snack-bar chain, hires him as a driver. ... See full summary »
The dishonorably discharged Afghanistan veteran Thomas returns to his home village of Jerichow. Ali, a local Turkish-German businessman, owner of a snack-bar chain, hires him as a driver. That's when Thomas meets Laura, his Turkish boss's young and attractive wife. A classic love triangle is born, unfolding in desolate northeast Germany, where thick forests suddenly end on cliffs overlooking the Baltic Sea. Caught between guilt and freedom, between passion and reason, the protagonists have no hopes for fulfillment of their dreams. Written by
Warsaw Film Festival
Benno Furman, taken up by benefactor Hilmi Sozer, cheats with his wife Nina Hoss
We are in familiar noir territory with this story that in some respects resembles "The Postman Always Rings Twice" but without the latter's complications and even without the latter's crime.
The resemblance is that Sozer runs a successful business and he takes Furman into it as an employee whom he treats well, trains, and gives advances in pay. But Sozer also has a wife (Nina Hoss) who is attracted to Furman and vice versa. Sozer rescued her from a difficult life and they have a bit of an arrangement, and sometimes he beats her (offscreen) badly; but she still finds love for him at times. Her passion really flowers, however, when Furman is around. Furman is a kind of taciturn brooding man. He is an interesting character, sort of peasant-like, shrewd, not unwilling to use violence, willing to follow his impulses, and with a tendency to make black and white judgments.
Sozer's character is also interesting. He has a heart ailment. He's a shrewd businessman who works hard at it. He longs to be back in his native Turkey. He wants to trust but in his business he sees all too readily how people try to cheat him. He's also suspicious of his wife, and she actually is cheating him a little through a kickback arrangement with a supplier and, of course, with Furman.
The main two themes of the movie are trust and betrayal, followed by dreams and their frustration. These two themes intertwine. The dreams are often frustrated by lack of trust and betrayal. Passion also comes in as a theme as well as escape, which is part of the dreams the characters have.
This story distinguishes itself by not going into murder and trials but to a new outcome that connects to the thematic elements and makes a comment on human nature.
The film concentrates on the three main characters to build its mood of tension, suspense and fatal inevitability. It's a very good noir, and being made in 2008, we have to call it neo-noir for sure.
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