Lara Movie Ending Explained (In Detail)

Spoilers Alert:

After his surprise success “Oh Boy”, director Jan-Ole Gerster is on board LARA and this time it’s not about a young man, but about an aging woman who initially seems aimlessly wandering through Berlin but ultimately with a mission – and in the process tries to leave old dreams and lost opportunities behind. We reveal more about this in our review.

Corinna Harfouch delivers one of the best performances of her career as Lara.

The plot summary

It’s Lara’s (Corinna Harfouch) sixtieth birthday, and she actually has every reason to be happy because her son Viktor (Tom Schilling) is giving the most important piano concert of his career that evening. After all, she was the one who designed and pushed his musical career. But Viktor has not been available for weeks and there is no indication that Lara is welcome at his premiere. Without further ado, she buys all the remaining tickets and distributes them to everyone she meets that day. But the more Lara struggles to have a successful evening, the more events spiral out of control.

Lara Movie Meaning & ending

The second film is always the hardest. Especially if you hit the bullseye on your debut and now have to hope not to be labeled a flash in the pan. This is what happened to director Jan-Ole Gerster, who took a lot of risks for his debut film “Oh Boy” and shot an art house drama in black and white with a then largely unknown Tom Schilling (“ The Goldfish”) . The film rightly became – by its standards – an absolute incredible success and attracted over 370,000 viewers to cinemas in this country in 2012 – more than big-budget productions made for the masses such as “21 Jump Street”, “Heiter bis cloudy” or “Looper.” For his second film “Lara”, Gerster took a full seven years and took a smart approach to the production: doing what he is good at (namely making a single character the focus and then following her over several hours as well as her interaction with her sketch the environment), he remains faithful. Nevertheless, “Lara” is by no means a self-copy. And not just because a woman plays the leading role and the film is being released in color. “Oh Boy” was about the emotional balancing act of a carefree man in his late twenties who is suddenly confronted with the seriousness of life. In “Lara,” the eponymous protagonist has long since left the seriousness of life behind her and is desperate to regain the happiness of her past for a few moments. And the more minutes of the film go by, the more Lara’s initially closed facade opens up.

Lara (Corinna Harfouch) with her son Viktor (Tom Schilling)

Screenwriter Blaz Kutin (“Nikoli nisva sla v Benetke”), who was born in Slovenia , makes no secret from the start that you first have to crack this nut called Lara. And even if you don’t manage to do this until the very last second of the film, you don’t have to feel bad at all. Corinna Harfouch (“Something from there”) portrays the protagonist, who is bitter on the outside but has actually been hurting for recognition for many years, so accurately and aloofly that you can only watch for a long time but never really sympathize. But this is exactly where the appeal lies: for more than an hour we follow a woman walking through Berlin, initially aimlessly and later with increasing purpose, who is introduced in the very first scene as being at acute risk of suicide. Where other filmmakers would work with flashbacks to gradually shape the character, here we as viewers are only left with the moment. “Lara” is a snapshot from which the complex image of a woman who continually offends us with her contradictory behavior emerges. She subtly provokes in conversations with acquaintances and colleagues, (she has no such thing as friends) desperately seeks contact with her son, which ultimately limits itself to exchanging superficialities and subtle accusations. And every gesture that appears to be self-sacrificing or kind – for example, when Lara buys her son’s last remaining concert tickets and then gives them away – has an ulterior motive.

No, this Lara is not a person you would want to spend time with in real life. The reactions of those who meet her on her odyssey through Berlin also leave no doubt. The dialogues, which are absolutely lifelike, reinforce the impression of absolute authenticity; One would never question that all of these conversations and conflicts could really exist – from the intra-family disputes with son, ex-husband (strong in his short appearances: Rainer Bock) and mother (Gudrun Ritter) to the painful melancholy From indulging in Lara’s past as a hopeful but ultimately not sufficiently talented pianist with her former piano teacher (Volkmar Kleinert) to small intrigues against her daughter-in-law (Mala Emde) – “Lara” is full of subtle observations that lead to… Despite all the larger and more subtle nastiness, an enormous love for the main character still emerges. Because as biting (and sometimes bitingly funny) it may be to watch Lara on her (revenge?) campaign against those around her, there is always a profound desperation inherent in all her actions and words. Not the kind where a bitter old woman just feels terribly sorry for herself because she wasn’t shown enough appreciation in the past. But one that is characterized by lost dreams and the constant search for oneself; Even at 60, Lara still hasn’t found her footing in life.

Corinna Harfouch is an absolute stunner in the role of Lara, whose performance always oscillates between subtly introspective and equally self-confident and without regard for losses, making her one of the most voluminous characters in terms of character that the 2019 cinema year was able to produce due to her believable contradictions. Sometimes just a look or a single word (!) from Harfouch is enough to radically change the mood around you. Especially in the exchange with her son, whom Tom Schilling embodies no less torn, Harfouch shows off all of her acting skills. But as much as “Lara” works as an excellently acted character study, the individual punchlines of the situational comedy hit their target precisely. Author Blaz Kutin has an excellent sense of finding the morbid humor in the seriousness of the situation (this is evident in the very first scene with the awkward radio messages from the police). But only Jan-Ole Gerster manages to incorporate this humor into his film in such a way that it fits perfectly into the otherwise rather tragic scenery. A feat that he perfects with the very last scene of “Lara,” when he lets his story end – in the truest sense of the word – on a note that two readings interpret. Either the happy ending or the sad ending.

Conclusion: “Lara” is an absolutely lifelike portrait of a woman who, despite her hard shell, captivates you more and more from minute to minute, without simply unmasking a soft core at some point. “Lara” is authentic and real, “Lara” is funny and sad and “Lara” is just as truthful as Corinna Harfouch, who delivers one of her best performances ever.

“Lara” can be seen in selected USA cinemas from November 7th.

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