|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Laufzeit:||Approx. 114 min.|
|FSK:||From 12 years|
08 November 1939: Shortly after the end of Adolf Hitler's jubilee speech, a bomb explodes in the Munich Bürgerbräukeller that kills eight people. The Swabian carpenter Georg Elser (Christian Friedel), who was arrested shortly before at the border to Switzerland, seems to be responsible for the attack. Arthur Nebe (Burghart Klaußner), head of the police in the Reich Security Main Office, and Gestapo chief Heinrich Müller (Johann von Bülow) are to interrogate the man to find out whether, as he claims, he actually acted alone. After a few days of withstanding the sometimes extremely brutal interrogation methods, Elser gives in and tells his tormentors what led him to plan an attack on the leader. But that he acted without backers, one simply does not want to believe him...
With "Elser" Oliver Hirschbiegel dedicates himself after "The Downfall" again to a true story from the final phase of the Second World War. The events around Georg Elser should be known to far fewer viewers than the story Hirschbiegel traced in his award-winning "Der Untergang". What both films have in common is that they were staged very forcefully and tell very important stories. In the case of "Elser" this is the fact that in Germany not everyone was a follower, but that there was resistance against the regime. The story is built up in flashbacks in a very comprehensible way. It becomes clear why Georg Elser had the urgent need to take action against the injustice he could observe everywhere and why he was willing to sacrifice his own life for it.
What should be highly credited is the fact that he does not overstylize Elser into a radiant hero. He rather shows him as a very simple man with weaknesses and ideals that he is unwilling to betray. What may seem a bit stubborn at the beginning, reveals itself at the end as an immensely impressive sense of justice, by which one should still take an example today.
The film is especially intense in the chamber play-like interrogation scenes, in which all the actors involved deliver great performances. In the flashbacks, on the other hand, it is quite noticeable that main actor Christian Friedel is primarily a theatre actor. Especially his scenes with Katharina Schüttler sometimes seem a bit artificial, which is absolutely fitting on stage, but in the cinema it's a bit strange. There is no question that both are very good actors. But what may be impressive and intense in the theater, in the cinema it seems quite different. This certainly won't bother all viewers, but for some it could lead to the fact that the intensity of the story is a little weakened by it.
That doesn't change the fact that "Elser" is a good and also important movie, the story of which should also be known to younger viewers. Even though Oliver Hirschbiegel won't get the amount of attention that "The Downfall" was given with this gripping drama, this chronicle of a resistance has a very clear meaning despite some small lengths: Worth seeing!
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