The horse film is in high season. But long before the renaissance ushered in by “Ostwind” and Co., the adventures of Dick, Dalli and their ponies thrilled millions. Dusted off and on screen, director Sharon von Wietersheim is now presenting new adventures on the IMMENHOF. We reveal more about this in our review.
The Plot Summary
Finally summer! The girls from Immenhof are looking forward to a carefree time. There’s just one catch – the Immenhof is bankrupt and the girls are under the surveillance of the youth welfare office, which regularly checks whether 23-year-old Charly (Laura Berlin) is taking care of her underage sisters Lou (Laura Berlin) responsibly after their father’s death. Leia Holtwick) and Emmie (Ella Päffgen). In addition, the girls always have trouble with the unfriendly owner of the neighboring stud farm, Jochen Mallinckroth (Heiner Lauterbach), and his arrogant horse trainer Runa (Valerie Huber). She can’t get Cagliostro, the new star among the racehorses, under control and blames Lou for it. Lou only sees one way out: she enters into a risky deal with Mallinckroth, in which she not only puts her beloved mare Holly at risk, but also the Immenhof. Will the sisters be able to save their beloved home? And who will Lou give her heart to – the cool YouTuber Leon (Moritz Bäckerling), who has to do his community service on her farm, or the sensitive Matz (Rafael Gareisen), whom she has known since she was a child? The sisters face a turbulent summer with difficult decisions…
Movie explanation of the ending
The family film subgenre “horse adventure” was catapulted back onto the big screen almost overnight from the direct-to-DVD corner and the afternoon program of public television thanks to the great success of Katja von Garnier’s first “Ostwind” film in 2013 . This was followed by live-action adaptations of the “Bibi & Tina” series (which admittedly take place in their very own cosmos), the “Wendy” comics and the unconventionally honest racing romance “Rock My Heart”, while “Ostwind” was already in will go into the fourth round in a few months, after the second and third parts also achieved corresponding success. “In Search of G.” director Sharon von Wietersheim couldn’t have chosen a better time to give the “Immenhof” films, which were released in the mid-1950s, a new, contemporary coat of paint. Her “Immenhof – The Adventure of a Summer” is horse romance on par with her target group and has a modern flair that never seems artificial. But this rejuvenation treatment doesn’t always go well. Above all, the over-dominant use of snappy radio beats takes away from some scenes the otherwise pleasantly timeless flair. In addition, horse experts should definitely ignore some details so that the events continue to take place in a believable manner.
Charly (Laura Berlin) and Lou (Leia Holtwick) are worried that they will lose the Immenhof.
Lead actress Leia Holtwick originally comes from the modeling world. You can tell: The newcomer knows how to deal with her body in order to express different emotions, which she doesn’t (yet) always succeed 100% in dialogue. But that doesn’t matter, because what works above all in “Immenhof – The Adventure of a Summer” is the interaction between man and horse. Small and larger lovers of the noble four-legged friends will get their money’s worth here, because the focus here is actually on the horses, which play a major role in almost every scene. The conflict itself, of course, also relates to the noble steeds, while typical teenage problems such as a tense love triangle or fear of the youth welfare office clearly play a subordinate role. But in order to create a believable atmosphere, it is crucial, especially in a film like “Immenhof”, how contagious the equestrian feeling is. And everything is just right here: Sharon von Wietersheim delivers the Blueprint of the Horse Girl Movie. This may bore those familiar with the genre a little, but especially with productions that are primarily aimed at a younger target group, it must always be borne in mind that “Immenhof” may be the very first film of this kind that the young audience sees receives. And to enter the world of hoofed screen adventures, there have been much more dispassionate productions in the past than “Immenhof,” which was staged very professionally every second.
The very (!) high-quality camera work by Friede Clausz (“Two in the Wrong Movie”) and the professional sound design help “Immenhof – The Adventure of a Summer” reach screen proportions, while the script, written by Sharon von Wietersheim herself, mainly deals with stages that one is already used to in the genre. There is a dispute between two neighboring riding stables – the Immenhof is rustic, the Malinckroth equestrian center is ultra-modern – there is a dispute, a traumatized horse has to regain trust in humans and the youth welfare office has to make sure that the siblings can cope on their own after the death of their father. This is all quite predictable, but the director stages it with such sincerity that it is not surprising that she chose top-class actors like Heiner Lauterbach for supporting roles (“Cold feet”) and Wotan Wilke Möhring (“25 km/h”) was able to win over the “Immenhof – The Adventure of a Summer” with their usual aplomb. But that’s not all: the overall very young cast of leading actors is also convincing in the game, or, like Leia Holtwick, simply acts excellently as a figure of identification with an adolescent audience. By the way, the secret star turns out to be the just 19-year-old “Unter Uns” star Moritz Bäckerling, who embodies the actual cliché figure of the YouTuber from the city with a lot of energy and heart and who it wouldn’t be surprising if the tabloid media soon labeled him as “USA Taron Egerton”.
The mood at Immenhof is tense.
Unfortunately, “Immenhof – The Adventure of a Summer” suffers from little things that prevent the film from becoming one of the greats in its very special genre. In particular, it doesn’t come close to the “Bibi & Tina” films and the already widely praised “Rock my Heart”, which is not only due to the intrusive (and apparently completely arbitrary) pop songs, but also to things that are particularly difficult in USA Cinema can be discovered more often, but will never lose its curiosity even if repeated several times. Why YouTuber Leon is explicitly associated with this video platform and the short message service Twitter is also mentioned, but only duplicates are shown on the computer screen (just like the search engine is called “gogo” instead of “Google”), of course, does not change the course of the story . But such directorial decisions – no matter how plausible their background may be – repeatedly take you out of the action. Some obvious connection errors have the same effects. If you go even deeper into the subject of equestrian sport, you come to the conclusion that no experts could have been at work here. While the main actors are very experienced with the horses, the author works wildly with different approaches to equestrian sport and sells you the basics of horse training as an almost otherworldly gift. But at least at this point we can agree that this is part of a good portion of riding stable romance.
Conclusion: “Immenhof – The Adventure of a Summer” is a high-quality contribution to the increasingly popular genre of the horse-girl film, which impresses with its fine optics and many horses and has a charming, if not very new, story to tell.
“Immenhof – The Adventure of a Summer” can be seen in USA cinemas nationwide from January 17th.