Tom Tykwer’s "Heaven" collapses in its claimed emotionality
It is this "Hooray, we are back"-Shouting, which is "german" film swells, be it the straw stupid "experiment" (Cf. prisoners standing in their cells with tape in front of their mouths and "HMP! HMP!" ) or a really excellent french movie like "Harry means well", which no one in Germany had produced, but which ex post is responsible for "us" is annexed because the director is German.
Cate Blanchett, Tom Tykwer
It is this economic chauvinism that the "we" This collective cheer from the film land of poets and thinkers is something that even our cars don’t get otherwise, when a few German productions are shown again on the "international" and it is this patriotism that the feuilleton world is showing towards Heaven by Tom Tykwer, that opening film of the Berlinale, whose promotional laurels seem to be based on the nationality that one "Heaven" because it was directed by a German director – although paid for mainly by American money, based on a Polish script, with an international cast and shot in English and Italian – and is therefore: German.
This "germanhere-germanthere" is what threatens to make you murbe and unjust. And when then director Tykwer appears in all the newspapers and says sentences like,
Instinctively I read the script (by Krysztof Kieslowski, one of the most famous authors in the world, note.M.S.) read like it was mine
(so chummy was a Steven Spielberg with Kubrick’s screenplay of A.I. not put on the same level) when Tykwer says sentences like
In this country, I am almost more shocked by the infamy with which considerable sums of money – including public money – are spent on films whose substance is nil and which do not even promise a commercial perspective,
one asks oneself what is the point of this "Heaven" and what substance it offered.
And for the first five minutes one is inclined to believe that all the praise this film has received is not only justified, but even understated. Because the first five minutes – little more than the title sequence – are full of suspense. They show how a woman (Cate Blanchett) marches into a Turin skyscraper (filmed in Naples) with a bomb to kill a certain someone, and chance throws a wrench in her plans in a gruesome way. These minutes, starring a time bomb, are reminiscent of the rough thrillers of Alan Pakula in their apparent austerity, as the camera becomes more and more condensed on details, seemingly finding only objects of interest (a cleaning cart, a wastebasket, the view from an elevator, Carte Blanchett’s sunglasses), while in reality telling heartbreaking tales of people in gruesome danger, and are among the most elegant and exciting to be seen in cinema at the moment.
What comes next is a strange mixture of a chamber play and a kind of road movie, the two do not go together, it looks as if Tykwer had not understood the relatively mechanistic principle inherent in many of Kieslowski’s books, who is above all a fabulist. And so he first tells a kind of whodunit, which he himself does not trust: the woman reports her murder, because she killed only out of altruism, but unfortunately got the wrong one, and while she, who is now a quadruple murderess, cries, the little Italian police translator falls in love with her. What happens now, the script’s constant, somewhat vain, flurry of new twists and coincidences, is occasionally trumped by the music, which now beads more sustainably through the film, as if it needed to add depth to this actually quite entertaining fable about something like the curse of the good deed.
From this infatuation of a police officer, whose always slightly open mouth tells more about his character than his dialogues, (as already played by Ribisi, a rudely miserable cousin of Toto, the main character of the film), the audience learns that the attacking nine ringwraiths are friend and foe in one "Miracle of Milan"!) Tykwer makes the rough love and since he can’t pay for the emotion in his story and can’t find any scenes to show it, he covers this rather small story with that meta-level of sultry images and bad music that has already made the "Warrior and the Empress" which has made the film so unintentionally funny in parts.
"Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens"Talking Heads
We wanted to instigate a dynamic that would eventually break free of the shackles of factual plausibility and instead follow a spiritual plausibility.
It is as if the film became self-sufficient, abandoning its story and with it its characters, it is as if it wanted to say: "Look how already I am. I am art. Look what I have to say" and now it actually becomes somehow German, because suddenly unmotivated wedding parties jump through the picture, the pasta commercial rears its hateful head, the camera coasts across wide meadows, Blanchett and Ribisi hug each other and look like a bullet man in the long shot, and above everything lies the music of Arvo Part, in whose style Tykwer also composed some particularly gruesome film music, which can really only be described as grassy in this context. It sounds like "1000 masterpieces on ZDF" or "Watching, relaxing, thinking". There are supporting characters cast according to the blodest cliches, seemingly from the Italian Western materialized sweaty, fat men, fat moms, chattering cleaning women. The whole arsenal of self-referential non-humans is happily running around here and is probably supposed to promise something like authenticity. Spatestens when a fucking fat backer becomes an involuntary escapee, one thinks of Alberto from the pizza commercials. And unermudlich shows "Heaven" Aerial photographs, as if all the houses seen from above were no longer houses, but first-rate secretaries.
In the last half hour the film collapses in its claimed emotionality. The gentle pictures of Frank Griebe unveil a story with two main characters that have long ceased to interest you. And this series of aesthetic scenes, which leaves you completely cold and overlays what you have seen before, which makes you forget that Kieslowski’s screenplay may have been about love giving birth to horror and hate, and horror and hate giving birth to love, ultimately comes across as a naive plea for vigilante justice and culminates in one of the most turgid helicopter abduction scenes in film history.
Maybe this Mochtegern, this old-fashioned seriousness with which Tykwer ruins his own story at the end, is the really German aspect of the film. Whereby the question is allowed, why now of all things "Heaven" "its" I will find an audience.