|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Originaltitel:||At any price|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 105 min.|
|FSK:||From 12 years|
Although his property is growing and he belongs to one of the most successful farms in the area, Henry Whipple (Dennis Quaid) has to fight for his existence ´every day. He knows how tough the agricultural business is and that if he doesn't keep expanding, he'll just be swallowed up by the competition at some point. Because exactly the same thing he does again and again with smaller, indebted companies. In order to secure his business for the future, Henry hopes that his son Dean (Zac Efron) will one day take his place. But Dean has completely different dreams. He is determined to become a racing driver and is on the verge of a breakthrough. But when the Whipples farm comes into the focus of a study by a major seed company that threatens everything the family has built up for three generations, the cards for Henry and Dean are shuffled anew - with dramatic consequences…
Director Ramin Bahrani's film "At Any Price" is not only a family drama, but also a visually engaging portrait of the Midwest of the USA, dealing with the power of large corporations over farmers. The focus is on a seed producer that is only fictitious by name, forcing its customers to buy their genetically manipulated product from new ones every year. Anyone who reuses or even resells seed from their own yield must expect severe penalties, which can be so high that the livelihood of an entire farm can be deprived. Natural seeds therefore hardly exist any more. Against this unfortunately very real background, Bahrani has created a rather conventional father-son conflict, which works quite well for most of the time because of the convincing actors.
There are some scenes right at the beginning, which run in the middle of nowhere and which just should make it clear to the last viewer how much Dean rebels against his father. In these moments "Um jeden Preis" can hardly convince, at least dramaturgically. But when it becomes clear under what constantly growing pressure Henry is under and how he also overrides moral boundaries in order to counteract this pressure, the prominently cast drama has an intensity that one would have wished for in other aspects of the staging.
However, there are always scenes in which the events ripple a little sluggishly and in which clichéd dialogues set the tone. But towards the end Bahrani manages to turn the tide with a dramatic turn of events and steer the film into more rousing waters. The last twenty minutes are the most interesting moments of the drama, especially on a moral level, as you would have wished for a better script in view of the power and the good performances Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron deliver.
On the bottom line, "Um jeden Preis" has a lot of well done, contentwise interesting aspects, which make the movie worth watching, despite some obvious weaknesses. Nonetheless, at the end there remains the feeling that this topic would have been the one that would have been the subject of an even better, more thrilling and above all more important movie. That's why there's only one: Worth seeing with some concessions!
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