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Coconut Hero

Coconut Hero

Deutschland/Kanada 2015 - with Alex Ozerov, Bea Santos, Krista Bridges, Sebastian Schipper, Jim Annan ...

The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:

Movie info

Genre:Tragicomedy, Comedy
Direction:Florian Cossen
Cinema release:13.08.2015
Production country:Deutschland/Kanada 2015
Running time:Approx. 100 min.
Rated:Age 12+

16-year-old Mike Tyson (Alex Ozerov) is fed up with life: he doesn't know his father (Sebastian Schipper), his mother Cynthia (Krista Bridges) is the world champion at constant nagging, and at school the lanky loner is constantly teased because of his name. And now this: he carefully planned his exit from this world, even wrote his own obituary before shooting himself in the head, and then he wakes up not in heaven, but alive and well in the hospital. Now only one thing helps: Mike has to turn directly to God, in whom he actually does not believe. But he seems to hear him, because the boy is already diagnosed with a brain tumor that will lead to death if it is not treated. Mike is infinitely happy and decides to keep this test result a secret from his mother. But then this: facing the imminent end, Mike's view of the world around him begins to change. When he meets the enchanting Miranda (Bea Santos), he feels something like real happiness for the first time. But isn't it already too late for that...?

With Coconut Hero, director Florian Cossen and screenwriter Elena von Saucken continue their collaboration after the award-winning drama Das Lied in mir. The unusual coming-of-age comedy was shot in Canada, which is why the film feels more like an American indie comedy than a typical German production. Even though there have been some really innovative and great surprises in German film in recent years, the statement that the film doesn't seem typically German can unfortunately still be taken as a compliment. Despite a lot of heavy themes, the production has a lightness and a sometimes very weird humour, which you unfortunately still find far too seldom in German films. That alone makes Coconut Hero an absolute success.

Without being too constrained by political correctness, the film tackles issues like suicide, bullying, broken families and striving in general. And Cossen and von Saucken do so in a truly refreshingly non-conformist way. For instance, when Mike learns from his doctor that he has a brain tumor, his world doesn't collapse and the film drifts into dreary imagery. No, his way home becomes a cheerful musical number, which doesn't want to fit at all to the deadly diagnosis. Mike's conversations with the local priest, who gets the life-weary teenager's questions all wrong, are also amusing, as are Mike's visits to an undertaker who is a little too absorbed in his job and seems to have finally found a kindred spirit in the boy.

However, the film also has its quieter and more serious moments. Mike's arguments with his completely unknown father - played by Victoria director Sebastian Schipper - are at times very emotional scenes. And even in the budding relationship between the withdrawn loner and the fun-loving Miranda, the script and production prove the necessary sensitivity. The convincing performances of the actors and the atmospheric imagery further support this impression.

In the last act, however, the story takes a somewhat drastic turn, by which the loose-humorous tone is also replaced by heaviest drama at a stroke. It is true that the film tries to find its way back to lightness at the end. But it doesn't really want to succeed in doing so. The twist is very emotional and also quite effective in a way. But unfortunately, it also seems a little bit striking and you can't help the feeling that there surely should have been a less drastic way to convey the admittedly positive message of the story.

But even if the last act will divide the minds and a little bit of sadness arises, Coconut Hero is overall in its very own way a wonderful feel-good movie that deserves to be more than just a little insider tip. And that's why I give it a clear: Absolutely worth seeing!

An article by Frankfurt-Tipp


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Cinema trailer for the movie "Coconut Hero (Deutschland/Kanada 2015)"
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