Movie Reviews (such as they are)

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Edukators

I was looking forward to German/Austrian film The Edukators after seeing a trailer for it. It seemed a pretty interesting premise. A small band of anti-capitalist types break into the houses of the wealthy and rearrange all their stuff, just to put the shits up them and make them feel less safe. Its original German title, Die Fetten Jahre sind vorbei, translates, I believe, as "Your days of plenty are numbered", and this is what they write on a note they leave in their victims' homes.

So far, so straightforward. Until a job is planned on the basis of revenge, and the victim returns home unexpectedly, recognizing one of the perpetrators. What can they do but kidnap him? This is the plot twist that propels the rest of the story, as the three protagonists realize that perhaps this man was once not so very different from themselves.

If there is a fault with The Edukators, it is that it goes on about 20 minutes too long. I've complained previously in this blog about films being too long, but it's not that I'm unable to hold either my bladder or my concentration. Morover, it's that I see very little point in getting to the middle section and starting to meander around, filling time.

I know, filmatically, that this is exactly the place to do such a thing, but there comes a point when it has been taken too far, and this film suffers from that. You end up not really caring who "wins" or "loses" in this situation.

Otherwise, the picture is full of great performances. Lead actor Daniel Brühl had already piqued my interest in the wonderful Good Bye, Lenin!, and action fans should be able to see him in the forthcoming Bourne Ultimatum. The kidnap victim is played by Burghart Klaußner, who also appeared in Good Bye, Lenin! and was very good in the soon-to-be-reviewed-here Requiem, too. Meanwhile, Julia Jentsch also put in a credible showing, as one might expect from the actress who won not only the Bavarian Film Award for Best Young Actress for this role, but also the Best Actress gong at the Berlin International Film Festival (as well as four other wins at other festivals) for the lead role in the critically acclaimed Sophie Scholl.

All in all, I gladly endorse this movie. It has a strong story, even if it goes off track for 15 minutes; it's nicely played; and it's likely to stay with you a bit. Hey, it might even make you think. And that's surely not a bad thing...

The scores
Acting: 15
Story: 14
Direction: 13
Enjoyment: 14
Involvement: 15
Total: 71

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