15 years after the last one LASSI adaptation, Hanno Olderdissen, an expert in the field of family cinema, is now daring to take on the famous original and relocate the fate of the clever collie dog to United Kingdom. The result is powerful! We reveal more about this in our review.
Priscilla (Bella Bading) and Flo (Nico Marischka) are desperately looking for their dog Lassie.
The plot summary
For twelve-year-old Flo (Nico Marischka), his world collapses: he has to give up his beloved collie, Lassie, because the family (Sebastian Bezzel and Anna Maria bother) has to move into a smaller apartment where no animals are allowed. The clever four-legged friend comes into the care of Count von Sprengel (Matthias Habich) and his granddaughter Priscilla (Bella Bading). They both take Lassie to the North Sea, where she soon runs away. An adventurous journey across Germany begins for the dog lady. A trip back to Flo.
Lassie Movie Meaning of ending
Even though a whole armada of film dogs, Hatchiko, Marley, Bella and Co., have now attacked the hearts of viewers, the collie Lassie still remains one of the co-founders of furry adventure cinema. The British-American writer Eric Knight made the bright dog the focus of a short story in the Saturday Evening Post in 1938, and two years later it became a novel. Based on this, numerous books and adaptations for television and cinema followed. One of the best-known to date is the live-action film series between 1954 and 1973. Most recently, director Charles Sturridge interpreted the “Lassie” stories for a full-length feature film, before a German variation of the well-known material appeared for the first time with “Lassie – An Adventurous Journey”. . The film is the next project from the “Traumfabrik” production company Traumfabrik Babelsberg, which had already proven itself as a nostalgia expert for great cinema pictures with the romantic fairy tale. This is exactly what director Hanno Olderdissen (“Rock my Heart”) is now playing out for “Lassie”. His family-friendly adventure film congenially brings out the soul of the original and wraps it in a contemporary look for young and old, which impresses with heart (blood), drama, tension and a stunning human-animal interaction.
Classic pose: Lassie on the way home.
What was special about Lassie, in addition to her striking collie appearance, was always her boundless intelligence. And also that on the other side there was of course a biped who knew how to use this intelligence for his own benefit. The dog was already a lifesaver, explorer, tracker and sometimes completely on her own; In “Lassie” by Hanno Olderdissen, all of these traits now come together in a way that is no longer quite so constructed, as screenwriter Jane Ainscough (“Good Against the North Wind”) transports them into a lifelike, classic family film structure. In this one, Lassie is “just” the family dog and best friend of the offspring Flo, who loves his dog more than anything and is therefore devastated when his parents are forced to give Lassie away for the time being. All of this happens within the first ten minutes of the film. And it’s interesting to see what an unusual dynamic arises when what would otherwise be the main conflict in other family films of this caliber is ticked off right at the beginning here. Especially since Ainscough’s script is also based on very tangible problems when father Andreas can no longer do his job as a glassblower because the craft is dying out and the Maurer family is threatened with being thrown out of their apartment because no animals are allowed there. And so “Lassie” is not about how young Flo can manage to get Lassie to stay with him (that what belongs together is back together in the end, of course, is a genre standard). Instead, the part for which the “Lassie” adventures became so well-known comes into play: the dog helps himself. And the dog undertakes the adventurous journey of the title single-handedly from the North Sea to southern Germany.
The fact that only one dog was filmed as Lassie is unusual (usually several film animals trained for different things are used to portray a single character), but it is obviously good for the human-animal bond. The interaction between Lassie and her Flo is sweet, even without any crazy animal tricks; You can’t help but believe every minute how close the two of them are. The four-legged friend is also the big star of the film – not just because of his extensive screen time (sometimes Lassie does her scenes completely alone). Just like it was in the numerous templates. But the rest of the (two-legged) ensemble also uses every opportunity to make their roles their own. In addition to Sebastian Bezzel (Eberhofer films) and Anna Maria bother (“Youth without God”) as the self-sacrificing parents and the extremely talented newcomer Nico Marischka (“Murder in the Best Company”) in the role of the son, “Lassie” particularly scores in the supporting roles . Here you can see with Christoph Letkowski (“Lindenberg! Do your thing”) , Jana Pallaske (“Fack ju Göhte”) , Johann von Bülow (“Lara”), Matthias Habich (“Narcissus and Goldmund”) and Justus von Dohnányi (“ “The first name”) is a rare acting constellation. They all put themselves completely at the service of their characters and contribute to the high likeability of the film, which thrives on the fact that you don’t get to see all of these actors on the big screen all the time. Regardless of whether it’s a family or friendship connection, you immediately believe that these people here are connected to each other – in whatever way. Rarely has the casting of a German film produced such a varied result as “Lassie”. And by the way: Bella Bading (“Tschick”) looks incredibly similar to her sister Emma.
It is also her Priscilla who, together with Nico Marischka’s Flo, effortlessly functions as a figure of identification for the younger viewers. When, parallel to Lassie’s journey home alone, the two of them also set off on an odyssey to find their beloved dog again, then the two children display the appropriate cleverness to function as heroes in an adventure film as well as as completely normal young people. With regular access to social networks, where, for example, a search group is set up or videos of Lassie are shared, this is the only concession to the modern technology affinity of our youngest children. Hanno Olderdissen clearly stages an adventure aimed at the whole family and adapts the film to modern viewing habits; Cameraman Martin Schlecht (“Dream Factory”) ensures exhilarating, glossy panoramas at any time of day, which clearly place “Lassie” in the cinema. But Olderdissen completely avoids trying to ingratiate itself with the kids using youth speech, hip-hop music and the like, as almost every (bad) USA children’s film production does these days. Even the obligatory slapstick is limited, but it did trigger laughter from the target group in the relevant moments in the cinema. All of this makes “Lassie” from 2020 a highlight, not just among comparable films, where the little ones should have as much fun as the adults. And you don’t even need to indulge in nostalgic spheres for that. This is just really well-produced family cinema.
Conclusion: Well made, well thought out and performed with joy: Hanno Olderdissen’s “Lassie – An Adventurous Journey” is an adventure comedy for the whole family that there is absolutely nothing wrong with.
“Lassie – An Adventurous Journey” can be seen in USA cinemas from February 20th.