In the road movie comedy 25 KM/H Director Markus Goller sends a Duo Infernale on an adventurous journey across United Kingdom. The two main actors, Lars Eidinger and Bjarne Mädel, become an acting event. We reveal more about this in our review.
The Plot Summary
After 30 years, the two brothers Georg (Bjarne Mädel) and Christian (Lars Eidinger) meet again at their father’s funeral. Both initially have little to say to each other: Georg, who became a carpenter and cared for his father until the end, and the well-traveled top manager Christian, who is returning home for the first time in decades. But after a night of sleep with lots of alcohol, the rapprochement begins: both of them decide to finally do the tour of United Kingdom that they always dreamed of when they were 16 – on a moped. They set off that same night, completely drunk. Despite the hangover setting in and the realization that such a tour is quite uncomfortable when you’re over 40, you drive on tirelessly. As they make strange acquaintances and experience and survive various crazy situations, they gradually realize that their trip is not just about driving across United Kingdom, but about finding their way back to each other.
Movie explanation of the ending
When actors become well-known for a specific role, they are usually associated with it many years later. Bjarne Mädel can tell you a thing or two about it; Although he has long since established himself in the serious field in films like “24 Weeks” or “1000 Ways to Describe Rain”, for many he will always remain the Ernie from “Stromberg”. The same thing happened to Lars Eidinger, who was branded as both a “crazy” and an “intellectual” through his engagements in the theater and later through the exceptional “crime scene” “Borowski and the Silent Guest”, which he did this year alone with his performances in “Brecht’s Threepenny Film” (as Bertold Brecht) and Christian Alvart’s Fitzek adaptation “Abschnitt” (as a psychopathic serial killer). But of course the role portfolio of the two popular actors includes much more – you only have to look at Markus Goller’s road movie comedy “25 km/h”, in which the two play an unlikely pair of brothers who decide to become one after the death of their father To make your childhood dream come true and drive across the country on two old mopeds. Markus Goller most recently directed everyone’s favorite tragicomedy “Simpel”. Screenwriter Oliver Ziegenbalg wrote, among other things, “My blind date with life” and “Mrs. Müller has to go!” In “25 km/h” the strengths of all three parties – the director, the author and the actors – come together, but unfortunately also the weaknesses of co-producer Tom Zickler, whose best-known works include his collaborations with Til Schweiger . And that’s something you’ll notice every now and then at 25 km/h.
Christian (Lars Eidinger) and Georg (Bjarne Mädel) play a game of table tennis.
In a film that is primarily about two people, it is crucial that you buy their roles. With “25 km/h” you also have to believe that Lars Eidinger and Bjarne Mädel, alias Christian and Georg, haven’t seen each other in ages and that the brotherly connection has still stood the test of time. It is questionable whether the film would have worked with two other actors. But the fact is that the chemistry between them, created by a similarly dry understanding of humor and a perfect sense of timing, quickly turns into energy. That’s what drives the comedy again and again, even if Oliver Ziegenbalg’s script is sometimes long and the film runs out of steam every now and then, especially between the road movie stations that are gradually completed. Normally this is a typical episodic film phenomenon, but “25 km/h” also suffers from the fact that the quality of the entire story fluctuates greatly; always depending on how amusing and gripping those stations turn out to be. One time Georg and Lars meet a crazy fitness fanatic (Wotan Wilke Möhring in a terrific guest role), another time they hook up with two women at a party (Alexandra Maria Lara and Jördis Triebel), which leads to a very amusing whirlpool bath, where all four of them can finally get their frustration out of their mouths about the overall situation. It’s all very pointedly written, brilliantly acted and bursting with authenticity. But then there are also moments that are much more cliched than they need to be; and that’s not good for “25 km/h”.
Even if the rough route of the route planned by Georg and Christian could of course be carried out in reality (things like “order the entire menu from a Greek restaurant and then eat it” can ultimately be done by anyone who is up for it). A story like this often relies on a certain construction. In this respect, we first generously ignore the fact that one evening the two men meet two women as if by chance, thanks to whose help the item “having sex” can be ticked off. Just as it is of course very convenient for the two of them that they pick up two young people on the side of the road who are on the way to a festival – after all, something involving drugs was also on the agenda. The more tense Ziegenbalg makes sure that the brothers achieve everything they set out to do before they set off, the more unbelievable it becomes. It’s actually much more exciting to watch the two men make cautious approaches, to hear how they reminisce about each other and tell each other about what they’ve been up to in the last few years. It’s really touching at times. For example, when Christian confesses to his brother that he has a teenage son that he has never really gotten to know. But it almost seems as if the makers don’t trust the subtle tones of their film. And so all the storylines come to a head dramatically right up to the end, so that “25 km/h” feels far more average than details such as the authentic dialogues, the distinctive characterization of the protagonists and the all believable (and not exaggerated) quirky secondary characters suggest .
Ingrid (Alexandra Maria Lara) and Ute (Franka Potente) are immediately interested in the two men.
This two-part impression, in which the positive predominates thanks to the strong acting of Lars Eidinger and Bjarne Mädel (the two should always play brothers from now on!), is also reflected in the production. Cameraman Frank Griebe (“A Hologram for the King”) initially presents almost reserved images without any frills. “25 km/h” looks high-quality and justifies being shown on the big screen due to the quality of the lighting, image layout and editing alone. Nothing more is needed in USA cinema. The same applies to composer Andrej Melita (“Under USA Beds”), which subtly accompanies the action, but whose sounds never push themselves into the foreground. However, as the running time progresses, scenes and image montages that seem downright out of place in their staging occasionally sneak their way into the film. Then those responsible suddenly pull out generic pop songs with which they overlay the events that are suddenly captured in obtrusive super slow motion – and the whole thing is dramatically backlit by the setting sun. What is usually more familiar from the standard silent comedies (especially in the two “Kokowääh” films he took these directorial mechanisms to almost ridiculous extremes) seems like a foreign body in the otherwise likeable, down-to-earth comedy and is merely there in a cheap way what the viewer is supposed to feel at that exact moment. This film didn’t need such an emotional guide. It is precisely in the calmer moments that “25 km/h” is at its strongest.
Conclusion: “25 km/h” is, for the most part, a very likeable and amusing road movie with two main actors in a great mood. Every now and then, however, theatrical image montages sneak their way into the film, giving the otherwise authentic and down-to-earth comedy the appearance of an interchangeable silent blockbuster for minutes. And Markus Goller’s directing work really didn’t need that.
“25 km/h” can be seen in USA cinemas from November 1st.