|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:|
|Production country:||Deutschland 2015|
|Running time:||Ca. 89 Min.|
|Rated:||From 6 years|
What an ungrateful job! Bank employee Jörg Geissner (Christoph Maria Herbst) is sent to the small Greek island of Paladiki to find out whether the conditions for a loan granted a year ago have actually been met. The inhabitants of the island want to create the Galapagos of Greece here and thus let eco-tourism flourish - and of course they need money for this. In return, they have promised that there will be a beautiful beach, a power station and a hospital. And that's what Bürohengst Geissner is supposed to be checking out now. But on the island he is not exactly greeted with open arms. Especially for the German-Greek supermarket owner Panos (Adam Bousdoukos) the "Commissioner" is a thorn in the side. Together with his friends he tries everything to sabotage Jörg's mission. Something completely unexpected happens: a kind of friendship develops between the two men and Jörg begins to see the island and its inhabitants as more than just an annoying file number. But his boss doesn't like that at all…
In times in which the media in particular repeatedly create a mood against each other, "Highway to Hellas" tries to counter the tense German-Greek relationship caused by the financial crisis with humour. In the style of the cult film "Local Hero", director Aron Lehmann creates a culture clash of a particularly amusing kind. Clichés are not exactly used sparingly, but they serve primarily to playfully deal with them and thus expose them as what they are: Clichés. It's true that this isn't always possible and at times the humor seems to be a bit over-twisted. But all in all Lehmann succeeded in making a really charming film, which releases its audience from the cinema with a smile on their face.
Christoph Maria Herbst gives the stiff paragraph rider a very likeable look. The transformation that his character undergoes during the course of the film may be very predictable, but it is very credibly carried out by Herbst. This is also due to the fact that the other characters are drawn in such a lovable way that even the viewer quickly loses his heart to Paladiki and his strange birds. Especially Adam Bousdoukos is a wonderful shopkeeper with a big heart for attractive tourists. The two unequal men are a very harmonious duo and as a viewer you soon wish that they become good friends in the end despite all the conflicts. Not a particularly far-fetched thought with such a comedy … but nevertheless somehow simply beautiful.
As is so often the case, the staging of "Highway to Hellas" also runs out of steam at the end. Charming and sometimes wonderfully clever wit then gives way to exaggerated slapstick, which simply seems inappropriate and unnecessary. The whole thing culminates in a very nice finale. But one would certainly have got there in a less exaggerated and flat way. But fortunately, this is only a small beauty defect in an otherwise very positive overall picture that offers its viewer nice entertainment and a lot of good mood in front of a beautiful holiday backdrop. And the bottom line for this is very clear: Worth seeing!
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp