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On a slope

On a slope

Deutschland/Schweiz 2013 - mit Henry Hübchen, Martina Gedeck, Max Simonischek ...

Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:


Regie:Markus Imboden
Produktionsland:Deutschland/Schweiz 2013
Laufzeit:Approx. 95 min.
FSK:From 12 years
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When Thomas (Max Simonischek) prevents Felix (Henry Hübchen), who is obviously at risk of suicide, from throwing himself in front of an approaching train, he is convinced that he has done a good deed. But the grumpy old man does not give him gratitude. When the two men meet again a little later by chance in the restaurant of a luxurious hotel, the musician and the younger divorce lawyer realize that the chemistry between them is just right. It begins a long conversation that quickly begins to become very familiar. Felix tells of his allegedly deceased wife and Thomas of the end of a passionate affair. The longer Thomas tells Bettina about his married conquest, the clearer Felix becomes that his counterpart is actually talking about his wife Valerie (Martina Gedeck), who left him after 15 years of marriage. But instead of confronting his opponent, he lets Thomas believe that a real male friendship is developing between them. It is the beginning of a perfidious game of confusion that is inexorably heading for a tragic ending…

With the film version of Markus Werner's novel "Am Hang", director Markus Imboden has ventured on a very ambitious project. The story, which consists primarily of conversations between two men, cannot easily be adapted for the screen. This material works very well as a book and is also suitable for the theatre stage, which is proven by some successful adaptations. But such a chamber play on the big screen? This can't really work.

And actually the movie has some problems with this. The material, which is very much geared to dialogues, sometimes seems a bit dry in the cinematic version, the language artificial, which could make the whole thing more difficult to access for some viewers. Nevertheless, Imboden has found ways to adapt and expand the story in such a way that it also works surprisingly well as a movie. So not only does he let the dialogues carry the events. He also uses a very strong visual language, interspersed with a subliminal threat, as supporting pillars, that contribute enormously to the fact that "Am Hang" never really gets boring and even has a pleasant tension, that is maintained until the end.

The decision to attribute a central role to Valerie/Bettina in the film, while she only appears in the men's stories in the book, also lifts "Am Hang"  beyond a simple novel adaptation. Imboden has adopted the original without distorting or diluting it. And this is really a small feat, even if the final result is not one hundred percent convincing. Fortunately, the smaller weaknesses are largely cushioned by the three very strong actors, so that "Am Hang" has become a somewhat dry, but nevertheless very engaging drama.

The story of three people standing on the edge of a precipice, which can end in a tragedy on one side, but could also mean a new beginning on the other, is also a story about coincidences, about what we think is true love and about the need to be able to let go. This is strong acting cinema and an intensive chamber play, which can offer good and exciting entertainment to lovers of German arthouse cinema who are prepared to get involved in the somewhat artificial language.

Ein Artikel von Frankfurt-Tipp


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