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The 'Dude' Lebowski's German cousin turns in excellent performance in this slow-burn dramady Read More

By Reno February 14, 2017

**What do you think is worth living for?**

I had tough time to figure it out what was the thing on the poster. Seeing it upside down, with mirror, name it, I used all the tricks I know, but nothing had worked. On the other hand, I thought it might be a fantasy film with a King Kong like creature. That's the curiosity it created, people to a have different opinions and forget to expect from the film. But it was a simple comedy-drama and only way to solve the mystery is to watch the film. That's what I finally did.

The opening scene was good. But I did not think the whole film would be like that. It was about a prankster and his attempts to reach his workaholic daughter, which was the entire narration. A lifetime trip for them, that's not about the challenges in the world or the nature, but their self-discovery, the meaning of life and purpose. This is one of the beautiful films to open up about a father and daughter relationship. In the grown-up world, the people forget to live the actual life, when they give all the focus to their professional life.

I have to agree, this is a competitive world and you will be replaced by millions of other waiting behind you for such opportunity. But does it all worth doing is the real question. Doubts like that won't arise without those who love us pointing it out. It needs to be asked properly, politely. But some people take an alternate route like in this film. Sometimes it ends in an unexpected adventure to just realise what they are into. And this film was honest, to reveal as much as it can in many angles.

This is the story of Winfried. An aged and divorced music teacher who makes practical jokes to people around him. After his dog died, he decides to reconnect with his only daughter Ines, who is now working in Romania. She is on the cusp to get her desired position in the office. On her one final push for that, is now getting distracted by her father. She who never understood her father's way of life, tries to get an answer out of him about the life. So that's where their journey begins. Some of the bold steps taken by them, the film accomplishes what it wanted to tell us in a unique way.

> "The problem is it's so often about getting things done. You do this, You do that. And in the meantime, life just passes by."

The film was actually loosely based by the director's own father. The writing was brilliant. It reminded me 'Infinitely Polar Bear', because these women directors inspired by their fathers to show the world how their childhood was like. The actors were amazing, particularly those two in the main roles. I liked them both equally. From the different angle, they have given different performances. There's no surprise if you liked the film only because of them.

The film had won many prestigious awards around the globe and now its biggest stand off is at the 2017 Oscars which is a few weeks away. Another Scandinavian film, which is also nominated for the Oscar, is also about an old man like this one. But I think 'Under Sandet' is the frontrunner for the golden statue. Because we all know that America's and Academy's sentimental towards the WWII.

When it comes to rating, the film is strictly for adults. It was good in the initial parts, but there are some surprise nude and sex scenes. At that time I thought it lost its path, but actually that was the turning point where you are going to witness a different half of the film. Surely many people going love the second half more than the first.

At first, it looked like it is a German version of 'The Family Fang', but only more realistic with dark humour. It's difficult to understand every scene, especially in the first watch. Because without knowing the film characters, the events involving them look casual. Capable to get the sense of humour is the key here. So if you decide for the second time viewing, you will learn more about it. It is one of those films that second time watch necessary for some people.

Frankly, I did not think it was a great film, just after finish my watch. But thinking back about all those film events, made sense. By the time I decided to write this review, I was in its favour. That's the reason I won't write about the films right away. This is a great film, but you have to focus closely and understand everything, then you will have a great time. But remember, it is one of the longest film in the recent time, particularly for a comedy-drama, yet enjoyable. Recommended!


By Richard von Busack January 26, 2017

Loveable if not ordinarily hilarious, Toni Erdmann explores both sides of a situation familiar to many. Winfried (Peter Simonischek) is "Dude" Lebowski's German cousin, a shaggy joker retired from something or other. After his elderly dog dies, he's at loose ends. So he decides to surprise his daughter Ines (Sandra Huller) at her job in Bucharest. She works as a consultant—which is to say, she's a hatchet-wielder looking for potential layoffs.

Ines in the middle of some delicate business and has little time to haul her father around the capitol's sites. The two spat, and he heads home...or so it seems. When Ines is having dinner with some female colleagues, her zany father reappears, fright-wigged and posing as an important businessman called "Toni Erdmann."

The style recalls the Romanian wave of a few years back, when one brilliant movie after another was arriving from that nation. It's long, and heavy on procedural material. Yet Toni Erdmann is often as an acute exploration of business anxieties as we've seen since Michael Clayton, depicting the world of nervous sweat, double-talk and ugly pantyhose.

Ines dismisses her father as a Green-party weirdo, but we see her side of it—he's so exasperating that he provokes her to a howled out version of the affirmation-heavy song "The Greatest Love of All" at a party. An ordinary practical joker seeks the humiliation of his victims—the rare kind seeks to enlighten. In this disguise as a capitalist, Winifiried is trying to nudge his daughter, making her realize what she's doing: colluding with greedy businessmen who are making Romania worse.

Everyone who's had a sudden guest during a rough patch at work will know how she feels, and it's easy to respond to the wrongness of Winfried blurting out "Are you really a human?" to his overbooked daughter. He has the advantage of a man who feels he belongs everywhere, from a country farmhouse to a business class hotel bar. Director Maren Ade is raunchy but tender about the body's needs, and sentimental about the small good things—wooden Easter eggs and a bag of apples from a peasant's farm.