‘Freedom’ perhaps means drastically different things to the different film industries across the globe. Because it is nothing but freedom that has allowed A Clockwork Orange, Anti Christ, and *ahem* Deep Throat to see the light of the day. But it is also freedom because of which Double Dhamaal and every-Akshay-Kumar-movie-ever-made, haven’t been shunned and destroyed forever.
Because it is nothing but freedom that has allowed the genius of Stanley Kubrick, Federico Fellini, Akira Kurosawa and Guru Dutt to thrive well beyond their time. But it is also freedom because of which Uwe Boll, Manoj Night Shyamalan and Ram Gopal Varma have not been sentenced to a dreadful, gruesome movie hell in which they’d be made to watch their own movies repeatedly.
Because it is nothing but freedom that has allowed the guy whose definition of ‘cult movie’ used to be Salman Khan’s Judwaa in his growing up, or what I now call, demented, years, to write this movie column for six months (woo hoo!) and get away with it. But it is also freedom because of which I get to crack bad jokes like that, address myself in third person, send in my column AFTER the last minute, but still give some awesome (true story) movie suggestions and make it up to you all (and more importantly, to the benevolent, merciful, and angel-like Editor of Noise Factory).
Freedom, incidentally (!), is also the running theme of one of the cooler German movies of the last decade. 2003’s Good Bye Lenin! Is not only Wolfgang Becker’s ode to a unified Germany free of the famous Berlin wall that split its unity and identity, but also a sweet, touching goodbye to a mother as well as a motherland.
The movie is about Alex Kerner (Daniel Bruhl), whose staunchly Socialist mother (Katherine Sass) suffers a heart attack on seeing her son take part in an anti-communism rally in the time East Germany was still largely under the influence of Soviet Union’s policies. Alex’s mother goes into an eight-month long coma, during which the Berlin wall is taken down and Germany is unified under a capitalist regime. But when she miraculously wakes up, Alex has to go to largely-sweet and often-hilarious lengths to turn the Germany around his mother back into the socialist GDR she so loved, or she may suffer another attack.
While the movie’s plot in itself is so unique that it definitely warrants a watch, it is the excellent screenplay that so expertly blends the themes of family, freedom and not forgetting one’s roots, you end up watching many movies in one, each little movie wonderful in its own way. Watch the film for its take on history or relationships, or simply watch it to know… how freedom means different things to different people.
Starring: Daniel Brühl, Katrin Saß, Chulpan Khamatova
Written By: Bernd Lichtenberg and Wolfgang Becker
Directed By: Wolfgang Becker
Note: This recommendation first appeared in MTV Noise Factory, August 2011 issue
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