LAUGHS IN GERMAN
Film Review by Fiore
I am constantly amazed how independent comedy films are consistently funnier than the Hollywood products. At least twice a month, Tinseltown produces comedies with big name stars, that open well, but then die a horrible death after the opening box office weekend. The comedy in these films is not enduring and plays to the lowest common denominator viewer. Independent films offer more comedy films that appeal to a universal pathos and provide comedic elements that withstand the test of time.
One clear example is NOT MY DAY. This German indie was originally produced in 2014. It is just now hitting American shores, and it is exceptionally funny, despite the lapse of three years. It is presented in original German language with English subtitles. This sometimes chagrins certain viewers, but each of the graphics is sustained long enough to be read; not like many of the Asian imports. And, reading the dialogue does not hinder the film’s laughs.
Till, played by Axel Stein, is living a modest and very tame life, serving as a local bank manager. NOT MY DAY opens as he must deny a loan to a customer, Nappo, played by Moritz Bleibtreu. Nappo, who just wants to gather his woman and move to the beach, has no collateral. Till is professional, while Nappo is emotional.
Several days later, the bank is robbed and Till is taken hostage. Only after a daring getaway, does Till discover his abductor is Nappo. Unfortunately for Nappo, the circumstances reveal Till’s repressed personality, which is considerably wilder than the bank robber’s. Till leads Nappo on a cross-country trek committing more robberies, angering gang members and attending a rock concert, nude, while diving in a mosh pit. The story is one set-up cascading into another with laughs acting as glue to hold them together. Also starring in the film are Jasmin Great, Anna Marie Muhe, Nele Kiper and Ben Ruedinger.
1.1 KEY SCENES TO LOOK FOR:
1. THE DONAR CONCERT
2. STEALING THE POLICE CAR
3. DOUBLE CROSSING THE BELGUIMS
NOT MY DAY is directed by Peter Thorwarth, who also wrote the screenplay, based on the novel by Ralf Husmann. Cinematographer Jan Fehse uses unique angles, including unconventional overhead shots to present the action; and Editor Andreas Menn keeps the laughs coming with no slow down on the story telling.
Let’s take a look at the report card for NOT MY DAY:
1.2 ACTING = B
1.3 CINEMATOGRAPHY = B
1.4 SOUND/MUSIC = B
1.5 EDITING = A
1.6 LIGHTING = B
1.7 SCRIPT = A
1.8 SFX = C
1.9 ACTION = B
If you don’t mind reading subtitles, you’ll laugh heartily watching NOT MY DAY; I know I did. This is a really funny movie and even three years after its initial release, the gags still work; something that generally doesn’t happen with the Will Farrell, Seth Rogen, Melissa McCarthy and Sarah Silverman flicks. If you don’t mind subtitles, there is plenty to like, and laugh at in NOT MY DAY.