Written & Directed By: Faith Akin
Based on the Novel By: Heniz Struck
Cinematography: Rainer Klaussmann
Editor: Andrew Bird & Franziska Schmidt-Karner
Cast: Jonas Dassler, Margarete Tiesel, Adam Bousdoukos, Katja Studt, Marc Bosemann
A serial killer strikes fear in the hearts of residents of Hamburg during the early 1970s.
Loosely based upon the true crimes committed by the serial killer Fritz Honka, who was active back in the seventies in Hamburg, Sankt Pauli. When it comes to this film Is it to inform, entertain, tell a story, experience or all of the above? Viewing this might be different for each of us as viewers. As we can be quick to label and have no problem sharing our interpretations but if anyone disagrees Let’s not try to villainous or think lesser of them.
This is one of those films that is made to question why was this made and how will an audience treat and take it. –The style of the film is to show a realism to the events, but comes off more as a docudrama reenactment with make-up that looks like make-up. Where you wonder is this supposed to be a production or is it done to shock the audience.
Especially when the main character looks how you expect a serial killer to look almost naturally deformed but also wonder if it’s me the special effects make up to a degree that adds to it. Grotesque to a degree on purpose. Creating a monster of sorts. As this is based on a true story.
The film is vile, disturbing and disgusting. It leaves itself to be more matter of fact in it’s storytelling. Seeking to shock but not necessarily revealing in the violence. Though putting us in a grotesque living environment. Where for him and those around him seems to fit in. Even with the rest seemingly normal.
This film is definitely not for the squeamish.
The teenage couple and some bar residents are the only character we follow when not following the main character. As the teenage coupe the boy keeps trying to impress the girl by bringing her to the dangerous bar of the title. Where one customer seems obsessed with him.
At first it seems like this story is a flashback of the character at a younger age. Still trying to chase that first love. Unfortunately it isn’t like that even though the girl will bring the movie full circle as it offers barely any insight instead it all adds up to a minor part of the story.
When to comes to the main character he seems ok but drinking seems to bring out his violent tendencies. We are introduced to him in the middle of a killing.
The film is a presentation of the story. No real psychological or any other insight is offered. The victims are female and aging prostitutes and drunks.
What is shocking is that it is made by Writer/Director Fatih Akin who usually makes humanist stories that are usually love stories of some kind with dramatic depths. Here he seems to make a film About his homeland but wanted to try something more shocking and totally out of his usual wheelhouse and he succeeds.