What to do if your buddy tried to kill himself? Neele Leana Vollmar asks this question in the film adaptation AUERHAUS and penetrates deeply into the emotional realms of its young protagonists. We reveal more about this in our review.
The love between Höppner and Frieder is on shaky ground…
The plot summary
Four friends and a promise: your life shouldn’t be boring. That’s why Höppner (Damian Hardung), Frieder (Max von der Groeben), Vera (Luna Wedler) and Cäcilia (Devrim Lingnau) decide to do everything differently than they usually do in the provinces: They move into the Auerhaus together and set up a shared apartment under the disapproving looks of the villagers. To celebrate the moment, to break all the rules – and above all to save her friend Frieder from himself. Because he’s not so sure why he should live at all. But how long can the walls of the Auerhaus protect the magic of this community?
Auerhaus Movie Meaning & ending
Suicides are rarely discussed in the news media due to the so-called “Werther effect” (the observation that reports of suicides can influence the suicide rate in the population). Things are (still) a little different in film and television, although in extreme cases, such as the successful Netflix series “Dead Girls Don’t Lie,” there are always disputes about the plastic representation. Interesting: If a character takes his own life in works of fiction or fiction, this radical step usually follows as a direct consequence of a deep-seated depression; a circumstance that is simply due to observations of reality in which those affected ultimately see no other way out of their emotional illness than to take their own life. At the same time, relatives of those affected often report that before the final step there is usually a kind of high phase in which the patients have internalized their plan to such an extent that they end their lives without remorse. It is precisely this phase that the Berlin author addressed in his novel “Auerhaus,” in which he tells of a young shared apartment, in the middle of which is a young man who has been admitted to a psychiatric hospital after a suicide attempt, and for whom everything is supposed to get better after this stay . Director Neele Leana Vollmar (“Rico, Oskar and the Deep Shadows”) has now filmed the highly acclaimed bestseller just as congenially as the no less great original deserves.
Höppner (Damian Hardung), Cäcilia (Devrim Lingnau) and Vera (Luna Wedler) on the way to the village.
When the protagonist Höppner talks about the customs of the village youth right at the beginning of the film – in his town there is exactly one pizzeria and an ice cream parlor where he and, preferably, his girlfriend spend the day – then “Auerhaus” begins like that one of numerous provincial stories, at the end of which there is always either the realization that nowhere is more beautiful than at home, or that you only really grow up outside of it. But this appearance is deceptive: the script by Vollmar and Lars Hubrich (“Tschick”) only has a marginal view of the environment in which the events of “Auerhaus” take place; Ultimately, the story could take place anywhere else, because the focus here is solely on the characters. Once they all come together in “Auerhaus”, the makers immediately avoid the next cliché: although Höppner, Frieder, Vera and Cäcilia were easily limited to their whimsy that was the focus at the beginning and each of them – in the classic way – has to bear his burden, the story is never about simply letting a bunch of opposing characters collide with each other. At some point, the teenagers’ peculiarities are completely pushed into the background; instead, it’s about building a reality that isn’t actually possible under the given circumstances. “Auerhaus” is something like the antithesis of the comedy “The Goldfish” that was released at the beginning of the year, also due to a similar theme around mental illnesses ; Here everything is darker, more serious and cannot simply be smiled away with optimism and self-confidence. Höppner’s voice-over makes this clear at the beginning of the film, when after less than five minutes the sentence says that Frieder killed himself – and the story is therefore one big flashback.
As a viewer, you know from the beginning that this story will not end well. But for Neele Leana Vollmar, this is no reason to fall into narrative sadness (not to be confused with the arbitrary placement of gags that create a cheerful mood). With “Auerhaus” she and her co-author succeed in the difficult balancing act of telling a hopeful story about a hopeless fate; In particular, the rather dark imagery throughout (sometimes perhaps even appearing a bit too dominant as a pacesetter) anchors its story in a reality in which the young people make a sincere effort to look after their depressed friend, to help him, whatever to despair again and to realistically question the small successes without still appreciating them. The interaction between the young actors thrives on the intimacy that builds on the gradual easing of skepticism, which gradually arises through living together. The authentic dialogues and the lifelike acting of the mimes play their part in conveying the atmosphere in the Auerhaus (by the way, as expected, derived from the disco classic “Our House” by Madness) to the audience. With the film, there are no gags written for a punchline, no lurid dramas or catastrophes, but rather an insight into the sometimes almost documentary-like lives of four adolescents.
With her almost complete avoidance of dramatic climaxes or other sensational plot developments, Neele Leana Vollmar takes a risk in keeping with the basic tone of the book, which will certainly be unusual for some viewers; “Auerhaus” is not a tragicomedy that follows a formula, but a film that sometimes even forgoes the typical three-act structure. Only towards the end do the makers give their audience a classic ending with a preceding escalation; But if you pay close attention at the beginning – both when watching the film and reading this review – the outcome of the film will hardly be a surprise, but will simply impress you in its entirety. This is also done by the actors, whose acting and character developments do not subordinate themselves to the story. Instead, the four protagonists are shaped by the events in the Auerhaus. This doesn’t always make their behavior understandable, but it turns out to be believably erratic – especially for characters in the age group portrayed here. Especially Luna Wedler (“The most beautiful girl in the world”) As Vera, who was initially head over heels in love but later fled the confines of a relationship, she has the opportunity to prove herself in a much more mature role after “The Horizon So Close”, while “Fack ju Göhte” star Max von Groeben and “Club der Roten Ribbons” face Damian Hardung form the acting core of “Auerhaus” in their interaction characterized by mutual skepticism and attempted consideration. A friendship has never felt more real, even though that word isn’t even used in the film.
Conclusion: A story about death and life with it: Neele Leana Vollmar once again proves her narrative sensitivity when portraying young people, their fears, longings and dreams. Her tragicomedy “Auerhaus” is proof that life is always worth telling, even without dramatic climaxes.
“Auerhaus” can be seen in USA cinemas from December 5th.