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Watched this at the Munich Film Fest the other day. I would never have gone watch a film for TV at a film festival where they show top quality films from around the world, BUT a friend asked me to come along AND, more importantly, I realised that the director of this film, Lars Kraume, also made Der Staat gegen Fritz Bauer (aka The People vs. Fritz Bauer (2015)), which I think was an exceptionally good film.
Anyways, whilst The People vs. Fritz Bauer has a good script and good direction, Der König von Berlin clearly lacks a decent script. The film is filled with very cheap laughs, and sometimes surprisingly old, beaten jokes that can only work with an undemanding audience. The story, the plot is alright, most of the characters are like caricatures,or stereotypes, which at times is refreshing and nice and funny, but too often this drifts too far into unoriginality and flatness. The main character, a policeman looks at photos from the murder night. On one photo a son of the victim is seen turning the ring on his finger upside down above a champagne glass - the first thing I thought is "ah, he put poison from the ring into the glass" - but the police man in the film does not realise this, only later when he reviews the photos, and the audience is intended to also only realise this now. Well, that did not work. I could go on forever listing the very poor jokes of the film, but that would be an even greater waste of time than watching the film. Most of the actors are rather good, the set design is very good, especially the headquarters of the Machalik film is fantastic, the direction is solid, but it's just not enough when the the main prerequisite for finding this comedy only slightly amusing is a long and very brain damaging history of glue sniffing addiction. The film hast some undeniable qualities BUT I left the cinema gasping for air, as if, by doing so, I could somehow regain the time that was so painfully cut out of my flesh in that dark big room full of TV people...
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