The story is easily told in a few words. Tobias makes a film about the tour of his brother Markus's band Hansen and as his girlfriend Ellen joins the tourbus things escalate when everyone starts to be honest and Markus and Ellen confess to have a one night stand while she was a couple with Tobias where the latter had one with a girl a few days earlier after the show in Hannover. So far so good...
But this fim got far more to offer. First up there is there is the cineastic level, the way the film is made and shot. The film pretends to be the very documentary that Tobias shot on the said tour and in fact the band Hansen really went on tour to shoot this film. The actual concerts became scenes of the film and the rest was shot on the road which is in some moments plain brilliant because barriers between fiction and reality start fading, even more as you never know for sure if someone is a hired actor or just someone who wanted to attend the show. Speaking of the band, it is itself an attraction as it is formed next to leading actor Jürgen Vogel as singer by a Grand Hotel Van Cleef allstar team featuring members of Kettcar and Tomte who are performing on stage as a real band and off stage are actors. Again reality and fiction blur.
The story itself is solid, nothing really new but still a good story that is not too shallow. What sets this film apart is the dialogues that are unbelievably great for a german movie. In fact I cannot remember any german movie with dialogues as natural as the ones here. A lot of improvisation and not too preplanned and memorized. All three leading actors are really got and seem to really amalgamate with their characters. To be honest I would have never expected to like Heike Makatsch that much in a movie but in fact she is great. Coming back to the dialogues they are like the heart of the movie. They are the thing that make the story deeper than A betrayed B with C when the main characters discuss about relationships in general and the examplary way theirs went down. I share a lot of these thoughts and I think I am not the only one who finds her/himself in the way Tobias and Ellen speak about the final stage of their relationship. This is quite close to how things end in the real world...
And there is still another level I apprechiate this movie on and this is the way it deals with music. The songs that Hansen play refer so directly to the life of character Markus Hansen that it made me think a lot about music and honesty. Okay, the band is just acting in that movie and Markus Hansen is a fictonal person so there is not much honesty around but as mentioned above to me reality and fiction blur here and bands musicians like Thees Uhlmann are known for being quite frank about themselves in real life also. I kept thinking about the stuff so many hc/punk bands keep singing about. Many songs are just new versions of lyrics that have been sung a million times. I like it so much when musicians get personal, when you feel that they mean what they sing. Why was the late Johnny Cash so touching? Because we all believed he had really walked through all the valleys he was singing about. This has really had a life worth singing about. The fictional Markus Hansen is another person having experienced a lot of shit: parents divorced, mother an alcoholic, mother's friend a violent asshole, caring for little brother... And this is just what we get to know in the film. You cannot sing about getting punched in the face if you have never tasted blood... Am I still talking about the movie? I dunno... More honesty in hardcore, punkrock, indie, whatever... Go watch that film! [jan]