|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Regie:||Theresa von Eltz|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 102 min.|
|FSK:||From 12 years|
Christmas - for many this is a time of contemplation and harmony. A time you like to spend with your loved ones. This does not apply to Lara (Jella Haase), Alex (Paula Beer), Timo (Jannis Niewöhner) and Fedja (Moritz Leu). The four youths spend Christmas time in a psychiatric ward. Under the supervision of psychiatrist Dr. Wolff (Clemens Schick), they should not only get their problems under control in individual discussions. Group sessions and other therapeutic measures should also help the young people to get their lives back under control. Not so easy with the mental burdens they carry around with them. But maybe this Christmas will be a little miracle? Or is life for some of us just an asshole?
With her feature film debut "4 Könige" Theresa von Eltz delivers a pleasant contrast to the usual Christmas comedies. Her drama is a sensitively told story about young people who have lost their foothold in life for various reasons. These motives - whether mobbing, separation of parents or violence - play a rather subordinate role and are therefore only mentioned. It's never really said why Lara has a self-destructive streak, why Timo is so aggressive, why Fedja is so scared and Alex is so closed. As a viewer, you have to accept that in some respects you are simply left in the dark and don't get everything explained.
That's not necessary, though. The absolutely convincing play of the young actors in particular gives the audience a good insight into the darkness that surrounds the psyche of the young people. The film draws its tension from the fact that, despite their rather brittle behaviour, the characters quickly grow to one's heart and one hopes that Dr. Wolff will be successful with his somewhat unconventional treatment methods and will be able to tear down the walls they have built around them. Eltz is to be highly credited for the fact that she doesn't let the whole thing degenerate into a sentimental fairy tale, but despite a certain exaggeration always remains imprisoned in reality.
Addicted, "4 Kings" is not a simple film. The drama does not offer easy entertainment for a relaxed cinema evening. The seriousness of the subject and the very carried narrative style sometimes seem a bit bulky. Also some very intense scenes - especially one with Fedja - are really pushing the mind. But it's worth it to get involved. Because the staging and the play of the actors manage to touch and lend the story a certain sustainability that many other German films lack. So anyone who appreciates haunting German youth dramas and doesn't expect a good mood feel-good film can warmly recommend these "4 Kings". Worth seeing
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