Benjamin is a 16 year old, paralyzed on one side of his body, with lousy grades in math, who switches to a boarding school to reach grammar school. Acclimatization to the new environment is... See full summary »
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"Off Beat" is very different from other films, as its English title suggests. (The German title, Kammerflimmern, is the technical name for a deadly kind of heart attack that paramedics like the ones in the film hate to encounter.) For the first half hour, "Off Beat" is a realistic re-creation of the daily life of Crash, an EMT in Germany, his colleagues and the patientsmany of whom are colorful low-lives. Only the meticulous production quality keeps the viewer aware that this is not a "reality" show. After that, the film goes its own, distinctive dramatic way. Along the way, Crash gets involved with the pregnant widow of a junkie he tried valiantly but unsuccessfully to bring through an overdose.
There will be long discussions as to whether or not there is a philosophical or religious Weltanschauung, conveyed in this film, or, if so, what it is. In the last half hour, the twists and turns become very intense and unexpected. I wonder if EMT services in Germany really have such crack professionalism to them as the ones in this film.
If is probably too much to expect, that this television film will have a USA release. I hope it will be made available for stateside audiences. To call it a change of pace is a great understatement: understated, this film is not!
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