Berlin, 1932. The Weimar Republic is torn apart in the struggle between right- and left-wing extremists and Berlin is a powder keg. Nightclub singer Henny Dalgow get to know the Social ...
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Berlin, 1932. The Weimar Republic is torn apart in the struggle between right- and left-wing extremists and Berlin is a powder keg. Nightclub singer Henny Dalgow get to know the Social Democratic congressman and Jewish doctor Albert Goldman, and the two become a slightly odd couple. Albert is a sworn pacifist after his experiences in the First World War. Contrary to his beliefs he agrees to act as courier for his brother Edwin, who belongs to a radical communist cell. Written by
"Nacht über Berlin" is a two-year-old television film about the Nazi era starring Jan Josef Liefers. The director is Friedemann Fromm and you may have seen his film "Schlaraffenland". He also wrote the script together with Rainer Berg. All in all, I found this film very generic. It tries to be emotionally involving, but I just did not feel a lot for any of the central characters. There have been so many Nazi-related movies from Germany in the last decades and there is nothing in here that makes this one stand out.
Also, I was a bit shocked how little chemistry Liefers and Anna Loos had given the fact that they are also a real life couple. The whole film seems to have basically only one purpose. Create as many baity scenes for Liefers as possible how his character goes against the National Socialists and gives it his all as he is a politician as well. The problem was that making Liefers look so significant and include him in every scene of the film, the story became really one-dimensional quickly and also lacked credibility at some point starting already with the very first scene where we see the main character being questioned and tortured by Nazi officials. Style over substance in my opinion.
I myself am a bit surprised that Liefers is so highly regarded as one of the best German actors. He is talented, no doubt about it, but he also has a tendency to play similar characters in all his works (arrogant, intelligent, flawed). This criticism is often handed to the likes of Til Schweiger, but you never really hear it about Liefers. Anyway, back to the film, I found Anna Loos a disappointment too. It did not look to me that she could carry a film in a lead role. I guess the reference in the title refers to the Night of Broken Glass, which is referenced near the end of the film a bit randomly for my taste, probably to create historic relevance all of a sudden.
All in all, I would not recommend this film unless you are a huge Jan Josef Liefers fan. The script is never great, sometimes weak (Liefers' character predicting the Nazis coming into power by blaming their political opponents was very far-fetched) and there is nothing particularly memorable here. The only two things I really liked are that they did not go for a forced happy ending and that some of the 1930's German music included was really great and interesting. But these two factors cannot save almost two hours of mediocrity.
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