|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Genre:||Tragicomedy, Comedy, Drama|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 96 min.|
|FSK:||From 12 years|
If you look up the word "outsider" in the encyclopedia, you should actually see a picture of Tom (François Goeske) there. At least the boy, who is always dressed in black and forms a stark contrast to the rest of the village community, has the feeling that nobody in this world can feel as alien as he does in this town, where in his opinion he is surrounded only by idiots. Even to Mike (Jannis Niewöhner), his best friend from childhood, he has no real wire anymore, since he only deals with cars and his girlfriend Maren (Emilia Schüle). And also his father Carsten (Wotan Wilke Möhring) is only a stranger for the 19-year-old boy, since he seems to live only for football and alcohol after Tom's mother has gone forever. When the boy misses his last chance to finish school, he finally feels lost. But then the attractive and committed teacher Sarah (Anna Fischer) suddenly appears in the career guidance and changes Tom's life in several ways. Not only does he think he has finally found another person in her who is on the same wavelength with him. She also provides him with a training job. But is working for a funeral home really the right thing for Tom? Or will he only succeed in finding his place in life through the daily confrontation with death?
With the film adaptation of Nina Pourlak's novel "Besser als nix" ("Better than Nothing"), director Ute Wieland ("Freche Mädchen") has taken a special risk. Dealing with the subject of death can quickly degenerate into a dreary cinema of dismay or, if one approaches it rather humorously, into a tasteless farce. It is very difficult to strike the right note on this sensitive subject. "Besser als nix" tries its hand at the extremely difficult means of black humor, and at some moments it really goes well with it. Because it's simply refreshing when German cinema in particular tries its hand at a rather relaxed approach to a difficult subject and doesn't sacrifice every possible entertainment value for heady melancholy. The makers of this Coming-of-Age Story deserve a lot of praise and respect for this alone.
The actors also do their best to convince in this very special story about the search for a place in their own lives. Anna Fischer, as charming as ever, succeeds just as well as Jannis Niewöhner ("Rubinrot", "Doktorspiele"), who is currently very busy, and a great Clemens Schick as a Rockabilly undertaker with supernatural abilities. The main actor François Goeske also plays very well, but he looks a bit too disguised in his look to be really believable. And this is exactly where one of the problems of the staging becomes clear: in some aspects the look or the drawing of the character are too extreme clichés, which stands in strong contrast to the rather unadapted humor of the film.
This results in a somewhat unbalanced, bumpy overall picture, which in turn has the consequence that the staging doesn't seem loose and fluid, but rather a little striving. That doesn't make "Besser als nix" a bad movie by a long shot. For that there are simply too many successful moments and very original ideas. But the film simply doesn't live up to the good intentions behind the story and its realization. The fact that some small supporting actors are rather amateur actors isn't really helpful. No question, Ute Wieland has staged one of the most interesting German Coming-of-Age films of recent years. Considering the good actors, the nice story and the sometimes very biting and surprising humor, it's just a shame that it didn't turn out to be one of the best. And that's why there's only one here: Worth seeing with some concessions!
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