6 March 2006 | coyets
The title, Königskinder, translated into English is King's (or Kings') Children.
A young couple are expecting a baby without being ready for such an event in their lives. Because a pregnancy alters one's situation so dramatically, there have been many films dealing with this scenario, but this one stands out from many of them by staying realistic, at least until the story is being wrapped up, by the setting in rural Germany and in Hamburg, and by the brilliant pacing of many scenes. Among the scenes which are outstanding is the introduction to Hamburg, which accurately captures the impression that visitors arriving in the city from the South by train, particularly for the first time, are presented with.
Notwithstanding the impressive scenic camera-work, including some beautiful images of the River Elbe, Königskinder concentrates on the effect of the pregnancy on the relationships of everyone not just the young couple involved. That is, of course, how it should be, and makes even the slowest and stillest of scenes into riveting viewing. Indeed, the dramatic effect of a number of such slowly paced scenes, much like the tradition in Russian film-making, evident, among many other titles, in Solyaris, is one of the absolute highlights of the film.
The award-winning acting of Luise Helm and Adrian Topol as the young couple is completely convincing, portraying various emotions, especially listlessness, as the plot develops, and it is backed up well by the supporting cast. Although the characters get very close to stereotypical behaviour patterns at times, this tendency is not sufficiently pronounced to weaken their credibility.
German directors often seem to manage to turn interesting ideas into bad films with wooden dialogue and acting. Isabel Kleefeld has succeeded in making a good film, which is unfortunately let down by a weak, unrealistic ending, despite even this phase including some good ideas transposed into credible and impressive scenes.
On the whole, this is a good film with many good features, which loses its way somewhat towards the end.