|Comedy, Romance, Music film
|Approx. 93 min.
|Number of discs:
|German (Dolby Digital 5.1)
|Making of, Karaoke Special, Trailer, Audio Film Version
|Senator Home Entertainment / Universum Film
Film: Life does not mean well with the Berliner Ottilie Giesecke (Diana Amft). Her boyfriend has just broken up with her in a rather unpleasant way and in a few days an important presentation is coming up that could decide her professional career. So it's no wonder that Ottilie's nerves are on edge right now. So she really doesn't need her father Wilhelm (Armin Rohde) turning up unannounced and trying to persuade her to go on a short trip to Lake Wolfgang. With a heavy heart, Ottilie accepts the invitation and is astonished when, a short time later, she finds herself in a world where the sky is a kitschy blue and people sing their permanent cheerfulness at the top of their lungs. When she meets the handsome Dr. Otto Seidler (Tobias Licht), he is so taken with Ottilie's gruffness that he unceremoniously proposes marriage. For the big city girl, this is the final proof that she has landed here in pure kitsch hell and is surrounded only by lunatics. But the more time she spends in the White Horse Inn, the more the pure lust for life, love and singing rubs off on Ottilie. And so she becomes part of a story that is not only about unrequited love, but also about the continued existence of the Rössl...
With Im weißen Rössl - Wehe, du singst! director Christian Theede dares to reinterpret Ralph Benatzky's popular 1930 Singspiel, which in turn was based on an 1896 comedy. The play has already been filmed several times, with the 1952 adaptation and the 1960 adaptation starring Peter Alexander enjoying particular popularity. Thus, a new film adaptation of the material was a real risk in two respects. For one thing, musical comedies are simply no longer particularly popular in German cinema. Even big musical productions, which attract millions to cinemas in the USA, have a hard time finding a broad audience in this country. On the other hand, a remake must inevitably measure up to the other adaptations, especially among such audiences who know and love other versions of the story.
So it was definitely a good decision to give the film its own touch by presenting the White Horse Inn, its guests and employees as well as the whole environment around Lake Wolfgang as a completely over-stylized parallel world in which the characters are allowed to poke fun at all the prejudices one might have before a musical Heimatfilm as walking clichés. Yet what makes this ideal world so beautiful for many is not disrespectfully made fun of, but satirized with an affectionate bow. This is weird, kitschy and somehow also very funny.
The well-known songs from the musical comedy were given a modern touch and in addition musicians like Bela B. were allowed to contribute new songs to the melodious hustle and bustle. When this works, it works really well. But in many moments the production isn't consistent enough, it just seems too well-behaved and a bit staid, which is in clear contrast to the satirical tone of the story. In such moments Christian Theede seems to be unable to decide whether he simply wants to present a modern homage or a persiflage.
But even if the comedy could have done with a bit more bite and a more determined staging, Im weißen Rössl - Wehe, du singst! is not without entertainment value as a slightly trashy musical comedy. This is also due to the actors, who here warble the familiar melodies out into the mountains with obvious fun. While Diana Amft is again convincing in her typical way with slightly chaotic charm, especially Fritz Karl as head waiter Leopold in the very role that made Peter Alexander so unforgettable is a real asset to the film. But Tobis Licht, Edita Malovcic and Gregor Bloéb as the self-absorbed Sigismund also ensure that the good humour at Wolfgangsee triumphs over minor moments of strangeness and embarrassment.
Surely, Im weißen Rössl - Wehe, du singst! is not great head-scratcher and certainly not the great comedy the film could have been. But for those who appreciate German musical films and like it a bit sillier, this slightly wacky version of the White Horse Inn can definitely be recommended.
Picture + Sound: The DVD's picture pleases with its powerful color scheme, which reflects the over-stylized look of the film very well. Image sharpness is at a very good level, especially in the brighter outdoor scenes, with only minor weaknesses here and there in the detail, such as a slight soft focus effect. The sound is dominated by the dialogue and of course the vocals. Still, the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix comes across as pleasantly dynamic. In addition to the conventional soundtrack, the DVD also has a hearing film version for the visually impaired to offer. Good!
Extras: As a bonus, there is a fairly extensive making of (approx. 33:54 min.), as well as the most beautiful songs from the film in karaoke mode to sing along (approx. 15:50 min.). The trailer and other program tips of the provider are also still included in the additional package.
Conclusion: Im weißen Rössl - Woe, you sing! is an amusing reinterpretation of the popular Singspiel by Ralph Benatzky, which provides a lot of good humor with the courage to silliness and with a pinch of trash. If you're expecting a "Heile-Welt" comedy in the style of the 1960s version with Peter Alexander, you'll probably be disappointed. But if you want to see a colourful film musical spiced with self-irony and clowning around, with a good-humoured cast and some very catchy songs, you can definitely pay this Weisse Rössl a visit. The DVD presents the film in good picture and sound quality and also has a decent making of to offer. Recommendable
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp