Also the novel adaptation BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ had to be postponed many times due to the Corona crisis. Now the massive new interpretation of the well-known story is coming to cinemas with a long delay, but should definitely be enjoyed there. Even if it is not free of weaknesses. We reveal more about this in our review.
Francis wants to break away from Reinhold (Albrecht Schuch) and go his own way.
But Burhan Qurbani also gets bogged down. And that’s primarily because of Mieze’s questionable voice-overs. If this classifies the events surrounding Francis and his fate in Berlin chronologically, but above all morally and emotionally, it shifts a large part of the responsibility for Francis’ actions, whether intentional or unintentional, away from him. Instead of apportioning the blame for the gradual escalation of events according to the descriptions – sometimes the external circumstances push Francis so far into a corner that he can’t help but defend himself with violence, and at other times he seeks it on his own physical conflict – kitty soon finds an excuse for every action. This becomes particularly clear in the statement here, which is recited almost like a mantra “He wanted to be good, but they wouldn’t let him.” This also exists in the original book. But the way it is presented in “Berlin Alexanderplatz,” the script clearly positions Francis as a victim. This is where the story gains in authenticity in the first place, precisely because the boundaries between good and evil are constantly blurred here. By relieving Francis of his responsibility, the creators simply do not do justice to the moral complexity of the original. And that in turn puts a serious damper on the viewing pleasure.
“When Mieze arranges the events surrounding Francis and his fate in Berlin chronologically, but above all morally and emotionally, she shifts a large part of the responsibility for Francis’ actions, whether intentional or unintentional, away from him.”
Because if, as a viewer, you don’t get the opportunity to sort through the events, deal with them and – even that is allowed – to despair every now and then, but instead have all of this told to you by an off-screen voice, you might as well be that Readers are significantly more likely to read a book that they trust.
Conclusion: “Berlin Alexanderplatz” is a powerfully staged new edition of the novel of the century of the same name and impresses with a beguiling atmosphere and outstanding performances, especially by Albrecht Schuch. However, this interpretation does not do justice to the moral ambivalence of the template.
“Berlin Alexanderplatz” can be seen in USA cinemas from July 16th.