|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:|
|Direction:||Julia von Heinz|
|Production country:||Deutschland 2015|
|Running time:||Approx. 92 min.|
|Rated:||From 0 years|
The celebrated entertainer Hape (Devid Striesow) has reached the peak of his success when he suddenly collapses on stage. After many stressful years, Hape's body fires a warning shot, which he only reluctantly bends to. However, Hape doesn't really want to taste the doctor's mandatory break of several months - until he makes a decision, for which his agent Dörte (Annette Frier) thinks him completely crazy: he wants to walk on the Jakobsweg to Santiago de Compostela. Perhaps here, far away from the limelight and everyday stress, he will find answers to the really important questions in life. And maybe he'll even find God? But already after a short time his physical condition, his aching feet and not really ideal overnight accommodations dampen his motivation and Hape is about to give up. But then he gets to know the pilgrims Stella (Martina Gedeck) and Lena (Karoline Schuch), who give him the necessary motivation to persevere at the decisive moment. And so the Jakobsweg Hape will perhaps still bring the hoped for enlightenment in the end?
With over 5 million copies sold, Hape Kerkeling's travelogue "Ich bin dann mal weg" is one of the most successful German non-fiction books ever. For over 100 weeks, the book led the bestseller lists. The audio book and a reading tour were also a complete success. In addition, the book triggered a real Jakobsweg boom, which continues to this day. A film adaptation was quickly decided. But it was to take almost ten years before the plans could be implemented. Even though almost everyone really knows and loves the book, this is not automatically a guarantee of success for cinema adaptation. On the one hand, the implementation of a non-fiction book must allow itself some dramaturgical freedoms and move away from the original in order to function. On the other hand - and this is probably the most important point - there is probably nobody who can imagine "I'll be gone" without Hape Kerkeling. But that's exactly what the audience gets here.
Although it's understandable why Kerkeling didn't want to play himself, why he didn't want to "replay" this very special journey after all these years. But it is simply a very special character, unique in its own way, that cannot be easily replaced. And so at the beginning it's really hard to make friends with actor Devid Striesow as Hape Kerkeling. This is not due to Striesow, but to the oversized footsteps in which he has to step. But after about 20 minutes something completely unexpected happens: the viewer forgets these reservations. Striesow merges with the character in such a way that a very individual character emerges, which is not constantly compared with the Hape Kerkeling, which one knows and loves. Striesow does not want to copy Hape 1:1 and thus creates a relatively independent character, which one only too gladly follows the not always easy way.
This one is captured in wonderful pictures, in which one can get lost only too gladly. With a harmonious mixture of humour and quiet, thoughtful moments, director Julia von Heinz has achieved something that one could doubt at the beginning: she has created a really nice film out of the book, at the end of which one has the feeling of having to say goodbye to a group of new friends with whom one has just spent a particularly pleasant time. In just 90 minutes a Hape, Stella and Lena grow incredibly close to your heart and it is simply a lot of fun to follow them on the Way of St James. Even if the movie may have its little weaknesses at some points, the good actors and the perfect chemistry between them loosely compensate them.
"Ich bin dann mal weg" is a really successful adaptation of the bestseller. Of course Hape is missing a bit here and there. But the makers and actors have managed to master this seemingly oversized hurdle skillfully. The result is pure feel-good cinema and therefore also: Absolutely worth seeing!
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp