Monday, June 29, 2009

Yella (2007)

I have just finished watching the Australian film The Square and I must ask, how is it people always make such stupid mistakes? Do things like that really happen in real life? Can somebody be that unlucky and have things go the complete opposite to how they plan every time? I always read the Weird But True column on the news pages, and I do see some pretty strange stuff, but sometimes I just can't get past the stupidity of some characters portrayed in film. This of course leads me to Yella. A German film from director Christian Petzold, whom I have never heard of.

Our protagonist, Yella, has split up from her abusive husband after the business they co-owned has gone down the toilet. She has just got herself a job in West Germany and is on her way to a new life. When she gets there, she finds out the new job is a sham, but a chance meeting puts her into the world of big business and private equity. However her past is catching up with her and is her new partner all he is cracked up to be?

The sad thing about this film is that it really could have worked, and if it weren't for the completely stupid actions of the main characters I would be praising it to high heaven. Alas, it is not to be. A somewhat predictable ending (that will no doubt come as a suprise to some viewers) is faultered by the idiotic choices that get our characters to these crossroads in the first place. And everytime they take the wrong turn as if GPS or roadmaps don't exist in their world!!

These kind of mistakes take me completely out of the film. They totally ruin my experience and lead me to question if I really want to keep watching. It is sad that 2 films in the last week have done this to me, but I will talk about The Square when I review it later in the week.

Now I don't want this to be a completely negative review. The acting is great and the film looks and sounds good. The fault lies with the script. If you can't think of a believable way in which to get your story where it needs to go then you don't have a story. My suspension of disbelief in a film attempting to be anything other than a mindless popcorn blockbuster can only be stretched so far and not only did I see where Yella was going in the first 10 minutes, but it had no surprises along the way. I should also note that the film bares a striking similarity to another far superior and much earlier film, but sadly if I were to inform you of the title the main premise of this film would be ruined for you.

Regrettably I was unable to locate a trailer with English subtitles. (The original German trailer is below.)

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