21 May 2015 | jakobgf-95
Even tough this is an Austrian film and i myself live in Austria i'm still going to write this review in English because i just want to.
But before i start i have to admit that i haven't seen any of Josef Hader's movies about the character of Brenner but after seeing this one i can't wait to check out the other films and this is my favorite movie of 2015 so far.
Personally, i think the best aspect of this movie is the pacing. There are already 3 other movies with Brenner as the main character, but for people like me who don't know the other films this one still takes it's time so that the audience can relate to him. Same with the rest of the characters. Even the side characters are quickly established and nothing feels forced. When our main character enters a new location the film made sure to slow down a bit to get the audience used to the environment of that place and therefore it felt extremely native when you know this kind of environment like i do. Those scenes where also the best directed ones and the time given to each event was perfect. Nothing felt too short or dragged out. Throughout the whole film there where some cleverly subtle placed flashbacks that showed the audience slowly why the main character doesn't want to be in the environment the film takes place in and why the other characters react to him the way they do. These flashbacks don't tell everything that happened but just enough to keep the audience guessing and wanting an explanation. And in the end it all comes together in a very good way. The performances where all good except for Joseph Hader, he was great. Watching Austrian productions in the past it always felt kinda difficult to me not seeing just an actor playing a role but in this one i had absolutely no problem except for one single line somewhere in the middle of the movie which felt really awkward. In this scene a character gets really emotional and starts crying tears of joy. Maybe the actress doesn't have the skills to pull such a thing off or the director didn't pay any attention while shooting that scene but it is only a minor issue because as i said, the rest of the acting is good, even at it's lowest point.
There was some good placed humor throughout the whole film but i'm glad that they didn't use any jokes in some of the more serious scenes.
The score was also good. In some scenes the Volume of the score is turned up a lot to fit the pain that our main character is going through. The music was, in general, never out of place and the movie knew when to turn the music down or completely off to fit the atmosphere.
Also, there is some subtle placed critic about the subject immigrants in Austria. It really works well because it showcases immigrants acting disrespectful in public as well as Austrian people having prejudice against immigrants showing that both sides still need to improve and be more tolerant. Those scenes only last for a few seconds but it definitely sticks in your head if you pay even a little bit attention.
If there was one thing that i would call a flaw, it would be the narrator shortly after the beginning of the movie who explains that Brenner doesn't want to return to Graz. However, this narrator never appears again and that bothers me because it feels like that the writers couldn't find another way to tell the audience that information even tough that would take just one line of dialog between Brenner and his neighbor, for example.
But this is still a great movie and i highly recommend to check it out, especially when you are an Austrian.