|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:|
|Direction:||Michael "Bully" Herbig|
|Production country:||Deutschland 2018|
|Running time:||Ca. 120 min|
|Rated:||From 0 years|
For two years the families Strelzyk and Wetzel have been planning their escape from the GDR to the West together. In the summer of 1979 the time has come: the families want to fly unnoticed to West Germany at night with a homemade hot-air balloon. But just before the border the balloon crashes. When the Stasi under the direction of Lieutenant Colonel Seidel (Thomas Kretschmann) finds the crashed balloon, the families realize that it is only a matter of time before they are found and imprisoned. There's only one thing to do. A second escape attempt. But can it be achieved in a few days what took two years the first time? And can what led to the crash of the first balloon be prevented at all? A nerve-wracking race against time begins…
"Balloon" is perhaps one of the most surprising films of the year. Surprisingly not necessarily in dramaturgical terms, after all the true story of the spectacular flight of two families from the GDR was already filmed by Hollywood in the early 80s. No, what's more surprising is that Michael Bully Herbig presents a drama that is gripping from the first to (almost) the last second, which you wouldn't have expected from the comedy specialist. Although - if you take a look at Herbig's earlier directorial work, you'll find out that he's always delivered a richly technical and stylistically great cinema, even though the humor may not always have been everyone's cup of tea.
His cinematic reappraisal of the escape that made headlines worldwide at the time really doesn't need to hide from Hollywood. Sure, there are some clichéd characters and scenes that seem a bit overdrawn. But it doesn't really have a negative impact. Because Herbig manages perfectly to tie the viewer to the story and to draw the characters in such a way that you simply have to cheer on their fate - no matter whether some clichés are tried or the outcome of the story is already known.
It is also pleasant that Herbig does not try too hard to distance himself from his image as a comedian, that he would ignore humor. Here and there he also added a few little laughs, which are served rather subtly and subtly. However, they always offer a pleasant contrast to the overall very threatening mood, which increases the entertainment value even more. A really successful picture language and a great cast of actors underline this positive overall impression. The fact that at the end a very thickly applied epilogue was added, which the movie wouldn't really have needed, is really to be overlooked. Hats off, Bully: Your "balloon" is a big cinema and therefore also: absolutely worth seeing!
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp