Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Good Bye Lenin

This is one of the movies which makes you wish you knew its original language (German), since it was so good even through the English sub-titles, that you can only imagine how good it must be in its native German…

Its about a single-parent family in East Germany a few months before the collapse of communism. The mother, an idealistic socialist / party worker, goes into coma when she watches her teen-age son get arrested. Her coma lasts eight months during which time the world as she knows changes completely – the Berlin wall is broken down, Germany is reunited, communism is replaced by capitalism etc. Doctors warn her children that any further shock can be fatal, so her son decides to protect her from all the recent developments and recreates her old world for her in her room at home. One thing leads to another, the deception soon acquires a life of its own with hilarious consequences and keeps getting bigger as the mother becomes more active (she wants to watch TV / starts to walk).

The sub-titles are brilliantly written – dripping with sarcasm and one-liners. The plot is outstanding – there are situations like the Coca cola banner which is unfurled over a nearby building / the Spreewald pickles / the mom’s birthday which are superbly tackled. You really admire the son’s determination to protect his mother at all costs and his ingenuity in coming up with solutions to all the problems – even as his sister and his girlfriend want him to tell her the truth.

Its simply compulsive watching and leaves you marveling at the creative idea behind the film… hats off to Wolfgang Becker for co-writing and directing this masterpiece.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I seem to remember a Hindi movie with a similar plot - more melodrama ofcourse - It had Rekha, Rakhee, Shashi Kapoor, Raj Kiran and Poonam Dhillon in it.

I havent watched this movie as yet but will do so during summer break.