“I don’t want to go to Berlin!” Kraftklub sang. After 120 agonizing minutes of BERLIN, I LOVE YOU let’s join in. In our review we reveal what the episodic film shown at the Berlinale is all about.
Under Your Feet: Jane (Keira Knightley) and Nizar (Liam Gross) in the dorm.
That’s what it’s about
In nine poetic, melancholic and fantastic love stories, the film paints a portrait of this unique, vibrant city. As befits Berlin, the ensemble is also international. As directors of the individual episodes, Peter Chelsom, Claus Clausen, Dennis Gansel, Massy Tadjedin, Dani Levy, Fernando Eimbcke, Til Schweiger, Justin Franklin, Dianna Agron, Stephanie Martin and Daniel Lwowski declare their love for the formerly divided city. They were able to gain a multi-faceted look into the soul of the Spree metropolis and its international residents. All episodes were linked in a framework plot staged by director Josef Rusnak.
Berlin, I Love You Movie Meaning & ending
In 2006, “Paris, je t’aime” laid the foundation for a series of episodic films that tell several short stories, sometimes comical and sometimes tragic, in a specific global metropolis. Two years later it continued with “Tbilisi, I Love You”. Another year later with “New York, I Love You”. Followed by “Rio, I Love You” in 2014 and now “Berlin, I Love You”. People quickly abandoned the idea of including the “I love you” subscript in the title for worldwide marketing in the respective national language, as did the commitment of well-known directors. For the Paris version, famous names like the Coen brothers ( “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” ), Alexander Payne (“Nebraska”) and Alfonso Cuarón (“Gravity”) were behind the camera. For “New York” Fatih Akin ( “The Golden Glove” ) and Albert Hughes (“Broken City”). Meanwhile, the most famous directing face of “Rio, I Love You”) was John Turturro (“Suddenly Gigolo”) and Til Schweiger (“ Klassentreffen 1.0” ), among others, took the director’s chair for “Berlin, I Love You”. is unlikely to interest anyone outside of Germany. This also applies to the stories themselves. “Berlin, I Love You” already caused all sorts of laughter due to its clichéd trailer, which depicts the German capital in a pleasant tourist look. The overall picture confirms this impression. “Berlin, I Love You” is a disaster.
Berlin Dance: The pianist and orchestra leader (Max Raabe)
Reviewing an episodic film is always a little tricky. As a rule, you want to give the overall work of art a fair assessment as well as judge the individual episodes on their own merits. These often differ greatly in quality. Not so with “Berlin, I Love You”. Here the spectrum of individual directing works (with one exception) ranges from inadequate to catastrophic. And in several cases, the finished projects can be seen as an oversized stink finger, as if people didn’t think much of the project from the start anyway. The first episode, “Berlin Ride ,” in which “Hector’s Journey or The Search for Happiness” director Peter Chelsom tries out his very own version of “Knight Rider,” is most likely to reveal his own idea of the city of Berlin as a cinematographic setting . Katja Riemann (“Fack ju Göhte”) plays the AI of a BMW in the best KITT style, which wants to show its suicidal driver all the beauty of Berlin again to show him how worth living life is. But since what was suggested in the preview is already confirmed here – namely that the filmmaker doesn’t know any other beautiful places in the city apart from the Victory Column and the Brandenburg Gate – this episode seems like a parody. At least: The desire for history is there, even if it is poorly implemented and with images so penetratingly sun-drenched that you think you can see the kitsch dripping out of the screen.
Intrusive imagery is actually the trademark of “Tatort” detective and feature writer enemy Til Schweiger, so we want to focus on his episode “Love is in the Air” next , even though his directing work in “Berlin, I Love You” is only around Some things take place later in the film. It opens in the beer commercial setting of a bar where model and young actress Toni Garrn is chatting with Oscar nominee Mickey Rourke (“The Wrestler”) . He doesn’t just give her styling tips without being asked because he doesn’t think the person he’s talking to should wear a pants suit ( “That sets the women’s movement back 50 years!” ). He makes such an intrusive approach to her that you end up squirming in your cinema seat when the young woman, visibly annoyed by the gentleman’s charm offensive, suddenly responds to his advances. Of course, this is no coincidence; Til Schweiger has a twist up his sleeve for his episode that is so stupid and stupid that you wish someone had slapped him with the script for the story beforehand. At the same time, the successful filmmaker carries out his very own idea of female self-determination so consistently that one could consider it a calculated breach of taboos, even satire, if he had not implemented it so straightforwardly and thus clumsily. If this was actually intended as a subtle and socio-political gender message, then it fell victim to poor implementation.
Berlin Ride: Rose (Charlotte Le Bon) is looking forward to the trip with Jared
Speaking of emancipation, speaking of breaking taboos, speaking of #MeToo: people were also not above taking up this hot topic. And so Veronica Ferres (“Under German Beds”) in “Me Three” is allowed to belt out a questionable musical number together with a few colleagues in order to get back at a greasy Weinstein blend. The fact that this is taking place in a laundromat of all places and the women all look far too happy for their appeal to be taken seriously has a reassuring, almost disturbing effect. In contrast, the episode from “Jim Knopf & Lukas, the Engine Driver” director Dennis Gansel simply lacks narrative oomph. His short film entitled “Embassy” would probably be a kind of conspiracy thriller in which a young taxi driver accidentally discovers the secret machinations of a large corporation and its enemies. But due to the low budget, you unfortunately only see the main actress Sibel Kekilli (“Game of Thrones”) driving a taxi and reciting conspiratorial sentences – even the investigations of the “Three Question Marks” are more exciting. After all: Gansel gets the most out of the minimalist setting in terms of canvas dimensions. His episode looks good and at least has the potential to be something you would watch in a feature length film. She is clearly the best.
In the end, what remains are the contributions from Massy Tadjedin (“Last Night”) , Dianna Agron (“Glee”) and the storyline by Josef Rusnak (“The 13th Floor”) , which holds everything together, which is a reserved love story between a mime and a street musician told. They sometimes have stars (Helen Mirren, Keira Knigtley, Luke Wilson…), sometimes look quite good (keyword: Max Raabe concert), but don’t mind each other when it comes to superficiality and boredom. Sometimes it’s about the topic of refugees, sometimes it’s about burnout or just enjoying life – for example, in style at the puppet theater in the park. When at the end all the characters from all the episodes come together in Berlin’s Mauerpark to dance together in ecstasy as the credits roll, then it doesn’t matter whether you’re from Berlin or not: nothing will draw you to the capital for the time being.
Conclusion: Aside from the Dennis Gansel episode, which falls short of its potential, almost everything about “Berlin, I Love You” is awful.
“Berlin, I Love You” can be seen in selected USA cinemas from August 8th.