After his congenial episodic film “Loneliness and Compassion,” director and author Lars Montag sets off for his children’s and family adventure DREAMS ARE LIKE WILD TIGERS again on a playful production and draws his emotions from a narrative style that is as subjective as possible. The result is reminiscent of the works of Michel Gondry in the best moments and, thanks to a lively musical soundtrack, will get even those who don’t like Bollywood out of their seats. We reveal more about this in our review.
OT: Dreams are like wild tigers (DE 2022)
The plot summary
For twelve-year-old Ranji (Shan Robitzky) from Mumbai, Bollywood is the greatest thing: the colorful films of the Indian film industry with their infectious songs and dance choreographies make him happy – like millions of other countrymen. He wants nothing more than to be in front of the camera with his declared hero, the Indian superstar Amir Roshan (Terence Lewis). But his great longing becomes unattainable when his parents reveal to the boy their dream of emigrating to far away United Kingdom. Only the hope of taking part in a casting for Amir Roshan’s new film keeps him going – even if it takes place in his old homeland of India. You have to fight for your dreams – they won’t come true on their own. The neighbor girl Toni (Annlis Krischke), who turns out to be an unexpected ally for Ranji, also knows this. With courage and combined forces, the two set out to make their dreams come true – and in the process also find the happiness of true friendship…
Long before his feature film debut “Loneliness and Sex and Compassion” in 2017, Lars Montag was already working as a director and screenwriter for countless works. After pleasant TV comedies of the “Just a little bit pregnant” brand, the cold, snappy and unpredictable episodic film seemed a bit like a liberation. Co-produced by bildundtonfabrik, which at the time was responsible, among other things, for the “Neo Magazine Royale”, the character examination, told in three parts (“Loneliness”, “Sex”, Compassion”), became one of the best USA films of recent times. As a blunt hardcore comedy, Montag tested boundaries and exposed not only its main characters, but also the mechanisms of USA highbrow cinema. But what seemed so appealing to film lovers on paper was lost at the box office. Therefore, many people know Lars Montag primarily through his work on the Netflix hit series “How to sell Drugs online (fast)”, but perhaps also soon through his second cinema project “Dreams are like wild tigers”, which is not only due to its genre origins Family musical is much more pleasing, but also boasts a soundtrack that comes from two people who have long been used to their film compositions being heard by people who don’t even know the corresponding films.
Ranji (Shan Robitzky) and Toni (Annlis Krischke) want to find out how Ranji can still get into the film…
We’re talking about Peter Plate and Ulf Sommer, who were able to gain a lot of experience in writing song lyrics for the younger generation through their work on Detlev Buck’s immensely successful “Bibi & Tina” series (four films, an Amazon series and soon a fifth film). Generation to write. Songs that speak the language of youth, don’t pander and are composed so catchily that they could be considered 100 percent suitable for radio. There is now even a Christmas album from the “Bibi & Tina” cast, for which there is no film at all… For “Dreams are like wild tigers”, the duo based themselves on the different tonalities that appear in the film. In this way, they mix the musical influences of the themes centrally dealt with in the film – Bollywood as well as Indian culture and its distinctive rhythms – with Western pop music – and the result is not a compromise from both sides, but the perfect musical symbiosis to “Dreams are like wild ones Tiger” (our favorite: “Indian Sky”). The song and dance numbers interspersed in the film like music videos are visually much more oriented towards Indian culture, although due to the colorful playfulness and the immense inventiveness in the design, comparisons to French filmmakers such as Michel Gondry or Jean-Pierre Jeunet are particularly obvious. “Loneliness and Sex and Pity” already presented the individual character studies with the greatest possible visual variety. In “Dreams are like wild tigers” there is now a greater lightness to the whole thing, which invites you to marvel as well as to tap along. And maybe you can sing along later, because once again the song content is catchy and linguistically on par with consumers.
“The song and dance numbers interspersed in the film like music videos are visually much more oriented towards Indian culture, although due to the colorful playfulness and the immense inventiveness in the design, comparisons to French filmmakers such as Michel Gondry or Jean-Pierre Jeunet are particularly obvious. “
Speaking of eye level: the authors Lars Montag and Murmel Clausen go to that of his young protagonist Ranji (“The Nanny”) and Sathyan Ramesh (“Beautiful Women”) every second, which “Dreams are like wild tigers” – as the name suggests – brings a certain dreaminess. In doing so, the makers consistently avoid a lot of potential for conflict, which makes the film less of a classic “migration story” and more of one that tells of a boy’s irrepressible will to achieve his goals even far away from his original home. This makes any clash between cultures seem simplified. The racist landlord (Herbert Knaup) seems more like a caricature than a real image of a xenophobe. The exact opposite applies to Ranji’s excluding and insulting classmates, who quickly agree on derogatory nicknames and bully their new classmate. Neither the scenes with the landlord nor those with the boys of the same age have anything that threatening about them. The insults really bounce off Ranji because he is both self-confident and completely focused on his dreams, while he only marginally notices the really bad devaluations from the landlord. Ranji’s focus is simply on other things. “Dreams are like wild tigers” is a film that can sensitize young people to xenophobia, but it simply has different narrative focuses.
In the footsteps of an idol…
To come to this conclusion, one look at the film poster is enough: although in “Dreams are like wild tigers” there are USA acting greats like Simon Schwarz (the “Eberhofer” films) or Herbert Knaup (“Lola runs”) appear, only the names of the two newcomers Shan Robitzky and Annlis Krischke – both in debut roles – are shown on it. Nothing and no one should distract from the fact that this adventure belongs to the children alone. The behavior of the adult characters occasionally dictates the direction of the plot, but the reactions to external circumstances, improvising when faced with unforeseen problems and, incidentally, everyday struggles with one’s own growing up are the focus of “Dreams are like wild tigers”. . However, some amusing observations clearly exist for the older viewers. And these even seem a little out of place. For example, the (undoubtedly amusing) appearance of Irshad Panjatan, better known as Chief Cunning Lurch from Michael Bully Herbig’s successful film “The Shoe of Manitu”, who appears here as himself, i.e. the “Cunny Lurch” actor. The gags associated with his personality will be hard to grasp for a very young audience. For adults, however, these scenes contain Monday’s usual dry humor, which actually makes them one of the highlights of the film.
“Nothing and no one should distract from the fact that this adventure belongs to the children alone.”
But even Panjatan does not manage to overshadow the performances of the two young actors. Without any camera experience, Robitzky and Krischke appear so detached and self-confident that one would like to predict that both of them will have great acting careers. Even the occasionally somewhat awkwardly worded dialogues fill the two with life. You can hardly present a stronger first release.
Conclusion: “Dreams are like wild tigers” is a musical adventure staged and told at the same level as its young main characters, which, despite the migrant issue and culture clash, stays very close to the future wishes of its characters, indulges and fantasizes with them. Appropriately, the very catchy musical exudes playful Michel Gondry vibes. A feel-good film in a class of its own!
“Dreams are like wild tigers” can be seen in USA cinemas from February 3, 2022.