|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Produktionsland:||Deutschland /USA 2013|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 107 min.|
|FSK:||From 12 years|
Headhunter Clemens Trunschka (Ulrich Tukur) is on the brink of an abyss. His excessive consumption of alcohol threatens to destroy not only himself, but also his marriage and his work. Only with much effort can he still maintain the appearance of functioning well. When he receives an order from a large automotive group to recruit Steve Ringer, the American CEO of Houston Petrol, as the new CEO, Trunschka knows that this is his last chance. If he screws up this job, he's out of the window for good. And so he does everything in his power to make contact with the publicity-shy wrestler. After his first attempt at a conference in Germany failed miserably, he had no choice but to travel to Houston and try his luck there. But even in the USA it is proving to be almost impossible to get close to the constantly shielded CEO. Only when Trunschka meets the businessman Robert Wagner (Garret Dillahunt) in his hotel does he get new hope. Because Wagner has contacts that could help him considerably. But as his friendly helper becomes more and more intrusive, Trunschka finally threatens to lose control over the situation and thus over his whole life…
"Houston" is essentially a very interesting drama about a man's desperate fight against his professional and personal descent. The movie has some very strong aspects on the one hand, but on the other hand also some disturbing factors, which unfortunately stand in the way of a positive overall picture. The positive aspects undoubtedly include the actors. Ulrich Tukur shows a strong performance, which on the one hand is very reserved, but at the same time extremely powerful. Tukur manages to credibly trace how much Trunschka has to fight his inner demons, knowing that alcohol is close to pushing him into social isolation. Garret Dillahunt ("No Country for old men", "Looper") is a friendly American who is the exact opposite of the closed German. This contrast makes the scenes between the unequal men the strongest moments of the movie, as there is always a loosening, well observed humor to be seen.
What also makes the movie worth seeing is the refreshingly untypical picture of the USA, which is shown here. Director Bastian Günther manages to do without many of the usual clichés and to create a very realistic image of Houston and its surroundings. This is refreshingly different and already great to look at from a visual point of view.
These are actually excellent conditions for a successful cinema drama with a high viewing value. Unfortunately, however, Günther's artistic aspirations repeatedly stand in his own way and present a production that is so bulky that it is really only accessible to a small niche audience. Strange camera angles, in which only the actor's torso can be seen or the person speaking doesn't appear in the picture at all, alternate with much too long snapshots, which are simply unnecessary for the story. Scenes like the one in which Clemens eats a roll in the car may create the right atmosphere, but they only unnecessarily prolong the whole thing to the extent presented here.
It's a pity that there are always filmmakers who try so hard to stage against the norm - or rather against the evil word "mass taste" - that good stories are thereby denied to a wider audience. Especially in the case of "Houston" the good actors and the dramaturgical as well as visual strengths would have deserved more accessibility. So the work is really only to be recommended to those spectators who like to dare to be a bit bulky and too carried told program cinema cost.
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