14 November 2016 | Ehrgeiz
Quite acceptable for a German blockbuster, still has its "buts"..
A couple of wealthy Munich inhabitants, Richard and Angelika Hartmann, adopt an African refugee named Diallo for a couple of weeks until the officials decide if he can take permanent asylum in Germany...
Soon they have to check on their own views towards the refugees while Diallo learns that this family has quite some problems on their own, which includes also the Hartmanns adult children and their grandson.
The most successful German movies are usually light comedies, that's no difference here. What I liked about this movie that it covered a broad range of attitudes that Germans have towards the refugee crises, from far-left to far-right ones, things which people in Germany really think or say. There is also a subplot with an islamist among the refugees, or some Pegida-style "enraged citizen" protesters. Also, it covers quite a lot of other issues - estrangement between children and parents, growing old in a society where the job means a lot for the reputation of the individual and so on. It has no less than seven main characters and manages that well. I think it was also the right choice that they wrote the character of Diallo not as a hero character, but a rather normal guy who just fled his country because the one terrible act of violence that happened to his family. Acting-wise, Senta Berger and Heiner Lauterbach come from a different time than the younger actors in the movies and are in my opinion far above them. But, Florian David Fitz, does also a good job in the probably most unthankful role, playing the Hartmann son who is the clichéd manager who has no time for his son. Even Palina Rojinski, who is another ex-video jockey who turned to acting, does a little better than in her former efforts - and she has probably the most complex character, the daughter of the Hartmanns, who tries to escape an stalker, while struggling to finish her studies with 32 years and get a job, making her a kind of disgrace to her father.
Its not a perfect movie, though. The setting is not too unrealistic - its not far fetched that refugees are adopted by German families, it happened sometimes since 2015 and was even advocated by some organizations. But, obviously, in the end reality has to be bent to provide the happy-end. This is too be expected.
I had more qualms with that despite a lot of things were done well, the movie was not hugely funny. The dialogues rely too much on playing around with clichés and tropes, going for easy wins by the audience.
Without spoiling too much, what will this movie say about the refugees in Germany, a country which took 700 000 of them?
Ultimately, it offers a "light conservative" solution: traditional family values will fix things, society and the state set things right. This may be a bit simple, may be part of the happy end, but its what I believe the movie wants to say.