"Wolfsburg" is a 2003 film by German writer and director Christian Petzold and one of the movies he made in what we can consider pretty much the middle of his career at this point. If you know a bit about the automobile industry, you will know that the city of Wolfsburg is the place where the huge manufacturer Volkswagen has its headquarters and this is no coincidence. Cars play a major role in here as a car accident (actually) two change the lives entirely for the characters in here and the male protagonist also works in the car industry. So is it possible to combine cold steel and human emotion into a quality feature film? Yes it is and Petzold shows us here how to do it. It is nothing unusual for him that the film stays easily under the 90-minute mark, but this shortness is not a problem at all for me as it is much better this way than in a way that this film would lack focus considerably.
It is the story of a man (Fürmann) who causes a serious car accident and is responsible for the death of a child. In the aftermath of the situation, he gets in contact with the mother of the boy (Hoss) and tries his best to comfort her and help her as much as he can. It never becomes really clear if he actually is in love with her or if he just wants to take the pain from her. And this is one of the factors through which the film works so well. I must say I am not the greatest Fürmann or Hoss fan, but the writing in this one is so strong that I did not even mind that they basically give it their usual approach that their portrayals are always extremely similar in their works. Hoss was still a brunette when this was made almost 15 years ago. Petzold is known to include major events, revelations or plot twists at the end of his works and this one here is no exception. It also makes a nice parallel through the early events and makes sure the film goes out on a high note.
So yeah the script here is definitely the best aspect of this film, but I also think Hoss and Fürmann were good casting decisions. Bother worked really a whole lot with Petzold and it shows that he always knows how to bring out the best in his actors. The biggest achievement is probably how Fürmann and Petzold make the male character work to an extent that he becomes quite likable the longer the film goes on and all this after what he did earlier and we also buy the transformation looking at what a ruthless and unlikeable fella he was early on in the film. Major character transformation. And apart from that, like I wrote earlier, this is actually also one of the best films I have seen in terms of automobile-centered plots and I believe this was fairly important to Petzold himself looking at the movie's title. As a whole, this was a convincing effort and I recommend checking it out.