5 May 2018 | markmuhl
Life's a Roller Coaster
Like the Wilde Maus, the name of a Roller Coaster in Vienna's 19th century amusement park Prater, life can be a hell of a ride with a lot of unexpected turns and ups and downs along its way. In this sense the name of the movie already tells us what is going to happen to the main protagonist Georg and his life in the about 100 minutes of the movies's run-time. Georg, however, is not merely a helpless passenger but is steering his cart with an astonishing certainty in always steeper turns at any possibility.
Revenge can be a sweet thing, especially if you don't know what else to do with your sudden gained spare time after having been sacked as a renown music critic for cost reduction reasons. So next to helping an old school mate to get an old roller coaster up and running, Georg starts his personal vendetta against his German ex-boss, whom he sees responsible for him being laid off. The vendetta starts with a rather innocent making scratches into the enemy's car, continues to graffiti spraying on the enemy's house and ends in a desperate and unsuccessful attempt to shoot the self-appointed enemy.
Georg's inability to deal with the new situation in a proper manner certainly make the tragic element of the movie but his failure is also so lunatic that it is great comedy at the same time. See him reading his newspaper on a daily basis in the amusement park while pretending to his girlfriend of still going to work, see him becoming a business partner of someone that used to bully him in school and see him sitting in a perfect snow landscape only in underpants after all has gone wrong.
There is also a lot of comic elements in the movie's side stories, in which it is mostly aspects of modern lifestyle and political hypercorrectness, which are being made fun of. Many of these things are actually quite hard to tell, be it for their bluntness or be it for their subtlety. Anyway, Georg's girlfriend Johanna, a psychotherapist, is definitely also a character, one should not miss. Despite a lot of relationship problems and her not responded wishing for a baby, she eventually turns out to be the perfect match to Georg, although the rather open ending does not state this very clearly. It is rather my interpretation thereof ...
The acting is quite convincing, although it is hard to tell, how much the dubbing will take away from its original local charm. Of course, Josef Hader, originally a stand-up comedian, is just playing one more time himself, a grumpy and sarcastic middle aged man, who is unable or unwilling to cope with many aspects of modern life.