8 April 2015 | Michael_Elliott
Der Fan (1982)
** 1/2 (out of 4)
Teenager Simone (Desiree Nosbusch) fantasizes about having a relationship with her favorite pop singer R (Bodo Steiger). She finally by chance ends up meeting him but their relationship takes a dangerous turn.
I guess the less said about the plot of DER FAN the better it will be for those who haven't seen it. This now cult item was released to a lot of controversy and it remains somewhat shocking today and especially the twist that happens so it's best that you don't know this big spoiler so I'm certainly not going to give it away here. Is the film worthy of all the hype and controversy? I would personally say no as I think there are much better films out there that deals with someone losing their mind but there's no question that there's enough here to recommend it.
I think one of the strongest things going for the film is the wonderful music score by Rheingold who manages to build a lot of dark atmosphere. I thought the score perfectly brought out the mind set of this teenage girl and I loved how it got deeper and darker as her mind began to slip. There's also some nice cinematography and some good editing that helps the film along. Director Eckhart Schmidt does a very nice job at slowly building up the slipping mind of this character. At 93- minutes the film actually feels much longer due to the slow style but for the most part I thought the director did good in making sure that it never got too boring.
The performance of Nosbusch is another reason to check the film out. The actress was probably just 16 or 17-years-old when she made this film so there are going to be some who object to the full nudity that she has throughout the final portion of the film. I think attacking the film for this would be rather narrow-minded even though the actress did stir up controversy when she tried to have the film pulled on its original release, although I wonder how much of this was just hype to sell the picture. Either way, she certainly delivers a convincing performance of someone slowly losing their mind. I thought she perfectly captured the naive nature of this character and when she finally goes off the deep end, you can believe what you're seeing.
i would also say that the biggest problem is that while the actress pulls off the mental state of the character, the direction really doesn't pull the psychological drama out of everything like he should have. This film falls well short of the psychological horrors of something like TAXI DRIVER. THE FAN certainly has plenty of flaws including a not-so-original story but at the end of the day the performances and the overall tone makes it worth watching.