It occurs to me that a country like Germany, which suffers from politically or sub-politically motivated violence, was indeed the one to come up with a movie with such a plot. It shows us how regular youngsters can become dangerous when the right (or wrong?) buttons are pushed by the right (again - or wrong?) person/people. In this example, we witness a well-meant project create a monstrous subculture that leads to a detrimental level of extremism.
In modern day Germany (and most of Europe), we witness racially and/or culturally motivated crime threatening just about anyone of any background, as it comes from both sides. The way Die Welle differs is, it depicts on how racial or cultural motivation is NOT needed for troubled youngsters to go morbid and get out of hand. This is not to defend racially motivated crimes, just to point out that the problem is not skin deep, and lies far deeper than skin colour or other things as such.
On conveying the above, the arrangement of thoughts in the movie is literally flawless. The acting is really good too, especially by the chubby faced Brazilian girl. The "attacks" in the screenplay come abruptly, which is good in a relatively slow paced yet light movie as this one. Last but not least, you can find both a happy-go-lucky youth flick and an engrossing thriller in Die Welle.
If you're wondering why I'm giving the movie an 8 instead of 10 when I think so highly of it, it's because of the political aspect. Some messages in the movie leave a taste of political incorrectness in your mouth, but it doesn't go any further than that. The psychological aspect is one to remember for years to come, and had the political aspect been dug into so deeply, this movie would have been a masterpiece, almost a lesson on movie-making.
I've always been a fan of German Cinema, and I'm glad that I now have one more director to keep an eye on. Don't be surprised if modern German movies taking place in highschools or otherwise dealing with teenagers' lives become the new trend. After Grosse Mädchen Weinen Nicht and this one here, I'd certainly expect that. Way to go Herr Gansel and others!
Finally, I'm talking about neo-fascism in the title because that's what I perceive modern autocracy as. Can anyone tell me a so called democracy, even in Europe, that has not fallen prey to autocracy and turned fascist towards a certain group of citizens? And the reason it's subtle is that, it does poke the politically correct clichés in your head, yet keeps it there and leaves the rest for you to figure out. As I mentioned above, it could have been better if it didn't do so.
Do watch Die Welle, you won't be disappointed. Especially if you're taking an intercontinental flight with Lufthansa, the best 100 minutes of your flight will be during this movie.