From the youth directed novel of the same name by Greogor Tressnow comes a film by Detlev Buck that is a realistic portrait of life in the section of Berlin called Neukölln. It’s about power and weakness, delinquents and victims, and the difficulties a 15-year-old faces in a poor and criminal environment.
Knallhart is in many points a typical German movie to me. The premise of a troubled teenager moving to a new flat in a low class Berlin environment and dealing with violence, drugs and apathy is nothing new. The movie tries to portrait the depressing surrounding in long pictures of the main actor walking through the city in washed out colors. The surrounding and the characters to me seem typically German and unbelievable … overacted or over-scripted (the mobile phone beating videos were implemented heavy to meet with modern day German news headlines as a very cheap catch). Acting wise the movie was pulled down by the incredibly untalented Jenny Elvers in the role of the lead actors mother. Several other characters are badly acted like the German dealer in the cellar or the Austrian cocaine dealer (this scene is a perfect example for overdoing things by cutting to the baby every 10 seconds…. yeah, its depressing but how come non-German movies like “Ex Drummer” or “London to Brighton” manage to be gripping and getting the message across with far less effort??). Oh and talking about “London to Brighton”…. like “KNallhart” its a 2006 movie but I really wonder about the strong similarities. The setting, the telling of the story by beginning at the end and then resolving it, the open ending, the environment and long city shots, the idea of the the main actor being forced to murder a person he hates although its not in his nature… can all this be coincidence??
However the movies are classes apart…. the use of music was really bad in Knallhart and made it hard to feel for the main actor or the plot because it hardly ever transported the visual emotion. It rather sounded like the were selling a modern soundtrack or something. I think a 7.5 average rating is definitely too much for a movie with this many flaws. Even the editing was pretty weak at times… so do yourself a favor and watch “London to Brighton” or “Ex Drummer” if you want a movie gritty and getting you emotionally involved with great cinematography in a depressing underclass-environment rather than this pretentious German effort.
Director: Detlev Buck
Writers: Zoran Drvenkar (screenplay), Gregor Tressnow (screenplay)
Stars: David Kross, Jenny Elvers, Erhan Emre
Release Date: 12 February 2006 (Germany)
Also Known As: Tough Enough
Filming Locations: Germany
Format : AVI
Format/Info : Audio Video Interleave
File size : 697 MiB
Duration : 1 h 35 min
Overall bit rate mode : Variable
Overall bit rate : 1 024 kb/s