Top positive review
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German Journalist and Chechnyan terrorism combine in this German Thriller.
on 29 July 2013
Paul Jensen is a high flyer in the world of celebrity media gossip pages. He has been working in Berlin when he gets asked to come to Moscow to help the image and sales of `Moscow Match'. His father was a big journalist in Russia but has died in a car crash some time ago. He had not got on with his father as he would have liked and so had no idea how well regarded he was in Russia.
On arrival he is taken under the wing of his keen as mustard cameraman, Dima played by Max Riemelt (`Naplola' and `Die Welle' or The Wave). He heads off to cover celeb parties and be part of the `cliterati' and paparazzi that follow around the uber rich self promoters. He also falls for the beautiful and enigmatic Katya (Kasia Smutniak (`From Paris with love'), she is up for change and wants journalism to challenge the corrupt state in all its forms. After a series of seemingly coincidental incidents, Paul suddenly finds that he is wanted by the Secret Service for terrorism and things go very bad very quickly.
There are a lot of issues dealt with here, ostensibly Chechnya and the ongoing situation there and the use of terrorism as a force for change. There is a fair bit of action here but it is all believable, no one suddenly becomes a super hero, everyone still behaves with human frailty. We also have State corruption, oppression and complicity from almost everyone. Moritz Bleibtreu (`Das Experiment' and `The Baader Meinhof Comlex') playing Paul Jensen is excellent as a leading man and the whole supporting cast are well above average. The director Dennis Gansel always casts Max Riemelt is his films and does a cameo in his films too, here he plays a taxi driver. But his main talent is behind the camera and he has made a film that has bits of everything strung together and it all works really well, action, prison, violence, explosions and a man hunt as well as oodles of corruption and a love interest.
It is a German film, but the language is mostly English with some Russian and all the sub titles are really good and it runs for 115 minutes. Filmed in Germany and part of Ukraine so the Moscow shots are not proper location but it had me completely fooled, so it is a well done in the technical spec department too. A very accomplished entreating and rewarding film that I strongly recommend.