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NVA 2005
Description:
Released: 29 Sep 2005 Director: Leander Haußmann Writers: Thomas Brussig (screenplay), Leander Haußmann (screenplay), Leander Haußmann (story) Actors: Kim Frank, Oliver Bröcker, Detlev Buck, Jasmin Schwiers Genres: Comedy
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NVA Reviews:

What a shame. This should have been good. The main issues are the script and the star. The movie cannot decide whether to be a slapstick comedy (of a very uninspired and routine kind) or whether to be a insightful satire on the old East Germany and its mores. Its attempts at the latter flop totally, however. The movie does not keep together well and the ending is very artificial and unbelievable. Any stereotypes one might have about German comedy are sadly reinforced.The characters are stereotypes one and all, and the leading character, played by Kim Frank, is colourless in the extreme. He just cannot carry the movie and appears to have been selected largely for his baby face. It may not be all the actor's fault (he is a pop singer), as the script does not give him much to work on.One plus -- the recreation of the East German 'style' and period is good.The worst thing is that the movie feels somehow dishonest and demeaning. The movie seems to have been churned out by folks who were not necessarily giving it their greatest and just wanted to create a fast buck from a several cheap laughs. (If they were giving it their best, it is a sad situation indeed!) I watched it at the cinema with an East German audience and I felt sorry for them. The GDR regime was terrible in almost all respects, but those who lived through it deserve better than this.


I didn't expect too much from this movie, but I was still disappointed. It's supposed to be a comedy, but there are only four or five scenes where I now laughed, and I think that's rather poor. There is no true plot either, I everytime had the feeling that most of the scenes should have been place anywhere in the film because there's no connection between them. But the worst thing was the "acting" of Kim Franke. He has ONE facial expression during the entire movie, as if he was supposed to enjoy some retarded guy, but I trust that's not the case. All in all I rate it four out of ten, I've seen worse films than this, but I wouldn't spend cash on this one again.


As was mentioned before in another comments, the major trouble of NVA is that it cannot decide what it wants to be, slapstick of the cheapest type or an honest parody of the East German Army. There are a couple of moments which are quite moving, for example when one of the recruits returns from the units prison in Schwedt with a fully broken personality. But in the end, Leander Haußmann goes for the infantile humour. No wonder the movie flopped at the German box office as it's historically untruthful to the true case in those training camps and led by an actor who is unfortunately incapable of giving a nuanced performance.However, there is the camera work of Frank Griebe who - as everytime - does a unbelievable job. If it wasn't for his pretty photos I would have rated the movie far worse.



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