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The unsuccessful small artist Marc-Uwe (Dimitrij Schaad) is not badly surprised when one day a kangaroo appears at his door. The cheeky creature, a self-confessed communist, then makes himself comfortable with the completely overstrained Marc-Uwe and turns his life upside down. The new apartment in Kreuzberg is soon in danger, however, because the house is to make way for the building project of a right-wing populist real estate shark (Henry Hübchen). Of course, the kangaroo can't allow that. Together with Marc-Uwe and the neighbours who are also threatened by the construction project, the right-wing sock is to be put in its place. Luckily, the kangaroo has already come up with the perfect plan for this…
With "The Kangaroo Chronicles" Marc-Uwe Kling started a true success story in 2009. The book version of the award-winning radio column "Neues vom Känguru" (News from the Kangaroo) on Berlin's Radio Fritz quickly found a large fan base as both a book and an audio book, so that even more volumes, sold-out live readings and a few kangaroo games followed. And now the feature film, directed by Dani Levy ("Alles auf Zucker!") The first minutes are absolutely promising, as they transport the special humor of the books very well to the screen, while also playing with typical film clichés in an original way.
The visual realization is also convincing. The animated kangaroo fits perfectly into the scenery. So far, so good. But soon the movie reveals some clear weaknesses. What still worked really well in the short episodes of the first book, often was biting and also cryptic, seems to be endeavored here and above all frighteningly shallow. Sure, there are some really amusing moments and fans of the books will surely be satisfied, too. However, the way AfD-bashing is done with the very left wooden hammer here is just not conducive to the (well-intentioned) cause.
Please do not misunderstand: The problem is not that the film has a clear political position. It's rather the way it does it. Instead of exposing and unmasking the politicians of a party like the AfD with intelligent, subtle humour, the film relies on really platitudinous clichés. Simply telling the audience how stupid Nazis are is really not enough to grasp the complexity of the problem that not only our country is currently struggling with. And it's really only partly funny. Good on the left, bad on the right (and Reich) - unfortunately this is far too one-dimensional a concept. Here, one wonders whether Levy and Kling did not trust their audience to grasp more subtle humour or whether they simply couldn't come up with anything better. For me, it all just seemed to me as if the makers here just wanted to pat themselves on the back, according to the motto: "Look, we're the good guys, because we say that Nazis suck". And of course everyone who has money, also…
"The Kangaroo Chronicles" has good moments and will definitely attract enough fans to the cinemas to make the comedy a success. But overall the humor is oftentimes very shallow, the plot too confusing and the characters too overdrawn for the film to become a well-done satire. In any case, this bestselling adaptation would have had what it takes. At least: The numerous movie quotes are well done and are also fun to watch. But the whole thing is still only worth seeing for kangaroo fans!
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