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(Review originally written at 12 July 2006)

"Gegen die wand" is a daring and original modern romantic movie, with not a joyful feeling all over it like you would expect from a genre movie but instead an heavy but also realistic and serious feeling all over it. It's European movie-making at its very best.

But "Gegen die wand" is so much more than just a 'love-story'. It above all is a real character movie. The movie mainly focuses on the two main characters, who both basically hit the bottom of life. They meet and decide to get married, for different reasons than love. They are two completely different personalities, who bluntly drink, do drugs and have sex with basically everyone that wants to. The more time they spent together, the better they begin to know each other. They begin to see through the other person's eyes that their lives is not what it is supposed to be and they slowly begin to see their shortcomings, which they at first simply did not care about. They ultimately begin to feel more and more drawn toward each other which eventually leads to the two falling in love with each other. But of course things become more and more complex as they fall in love. The people in this movie are real people, which makes it easier to identify with them. It also helps to make the events in the movie feel believable and real.

The story is told in a slow and realistic way. It takes its time to fully develop the characters, which helps of making them very realistic. Nothing in the movie feels really forced, which makes the drama feel real and powerful.

The actors and dialog also help to make all of it work. The dialog is realistic and very straight-forward. All of the actors suit their roles very well. Especially Sibel Kekilli is a real young new discovery.

The movie also shows some controversial and uneasy subjects, mainly regarding Turkish immigrants who are living in Europe. The portrayal of the conservative Turkish family is one of the many elements I'm talking about but also the whole Turkish customs and society in particular. The movie subtly shows some critique but without ever going too far of offending anyone.

The movie is just mainly above all a very realistic one. It's not afraid to show the dark, depressing, imperfect side of men. It's unlike any other film you've seen before. The storytelling is wonderful and makes this movie so much more than just a romantic movie, which in the end it really is. The drama/romance is mixed in an heavy way and it makes "Gegen die wand" not always an easy one to watch but certainly an experience that you'll not easily forget.

9/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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