|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:|
|Production country:||Deutschland 2012|
|Running time:||Approx. 97 min.|
The sudden accidental death of his wife throws not only Markus Färber (Wotan Wilke Möhring), but also his daughter Kim (Helen Woigk) completely off track. Markus tries to offer his daughter something like normality. But again and again he is overwhelmed by his grief and hardly manages to pursue his job at a catering company. Kim, on the other hand, withdraws completely into her own world. In this situation, Gerlinde (Christine Schau), Markus' mother, naturally doesn't want to burden her loved ones with any more problems. And so she tells them that she is going on holiday at short notice instead of confessing to them that she has cancer. She now has to survive the therapy alone and only with the help of the somewhat cheeky nurse Paula (Rosalie Thomass). She, however, doesn't want to accept that Markus shirks his responsibility and she confronts the widower with his mother's illness. But Markus doesn't have much time to worry. When Kim runs away to Denmark with the hot-headed school dropout Alex (Frederick Lau), he sets off with Gerlinde and Paula to get his daughter back. It is the beginning of a turbulent journey in which emotions boil over more than once.
With Das Leben ist nichts für Feiglinge, the film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Gernot Gricksch, director André Erkau tries a very difficult balancing act of drama and humor. Erkau already tried this mixture in his last film Arschkalt, even though the humorous part was much bigger there. But in this case the whole thing just didn't work. Despite good actors and some nice ideas the spark just didn't want to ignite. Mistakes Erkau made in Arschkalt he skillfully avoided in Das Leben ist nichts für Feiglinge. The script and production are not entirely free of clichés. The character of Alex, for example, is drawn in a rather stencil-like manner. But the sensitive realization of the beautiful story and the good ensemble of actors easily console over these small weaknesses.
What makes the film so successful is that it actually deals with very sad and difficult topics, but does not crush the viewer with exaggerated consternation gravity. On the one hand, the grief of Markus and Kim, their difficulties to deal with the sudden loss and the impossibility to let go is portrayed very well and also movingly. And Erkau and (screenplay) writer Gernot Gricksch also hit the right tone when dealing with the topic of cancer in the face of death. But because they break up the thematically conditioned gloom again and again with humor, the film just does not leave depressed viewers, but shows that life can be beautiful and worth living even in such dark hours.
Not only the production, but also the play of the actors, the passion for this project is clearly noticeable. Besides Wotan Wilke Möhring, who already played a grieving widower in the award-winning TV drama Der letzte schöne Tag, newcomer Helen Woigk and the refreshingly crazy Rosalie Thomass (Eine ganz heisse Nummer) make a special impression. The atmospheric camera work of The Chau Ngo (Tatort: Willkommen in Hamburg, Almanya) and the atmospheric soundtrack also contribute significantly to the fact that Das Leben ist nichts für Feiglinge (Life is not for cowards) has become a very nice tragicomedy that friends of more sophisticated cinema from Germany should not miss. Worth seeing
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp