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"Besser als nix" is a German 90-minute movie from 2014, so this one will have its 5th anniversary 2 years from now. The director and also one of the writers here is Ute Wieland and it is one of her more recent works. Having seen some other stuff from her my expectations were relatively low as I did not like it too much. Another script writer here is Nina Pourlak and she is also the one who wrote the novel this movie is based on. This is basically the story of Tim Rasmus played by Francois Goeske. Tim is a boy with not too much perspective after school and after a training program he ends up working at a morgue. Very fittingly, he is also a goth/emo character. Not too sure if Goeske was right for the part though. Emos usually aren't too muscular as he is, even if they tried their best to his his body. Apart from that, I also don't really see lead actor potential in Goeske and this movie did not change my opinion. He is the only lead here. Everybody else is supporting.
And this includes actors who German film buffs will instantly recognize, such as Möhring, Fischer, Elsner, Krebitz, Schüle, Niewöhner, Schick, Brambach (personal favorite) and a couple others too. I must say I kinda enjoyed the first half. It was a pretty dark comedy with lots of politically incorrect humor like a morgue worker saying she has HIV and works at a morgue because she cannot infect anybody there as they are already dead. So far so good. But sadly, in the second 45 minutes, it all went south relatively quickly. It turns into a mix of stupid teen comedy that takes itself way too seriously in the face of a character's death. This is where the film tries to be Okuribito, but never really has the talent in terms of writing especially, but also in terms of acting at times. There we get scenes like teens racing around in hearses or having parties at the morgue while a corpse lies right next to them. Embarrassing stuff and here I was again reminded why I did not like Wieland's other stuff. Quite a shame this film decreased in quality the longer it went and honestly I'd have preferred to end after 45 minutes or, even better, keep the strong level from early on and this would have been closer to 4 stars out of 5, certainly at 3 stars, but with what I just mentioned I cannot give it more than 2. I also feel some of the actors here were wasted for really insignificant characters and even if they tried to make a difference, the material was simply too weak. Perhaps this was also intentional so that Goeske would not look even worse next to more gifted performers. Thumbs-down from me for the film overall. Don't watch.
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