The Edukators (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner13/04/2005

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 127 mins
In German with English subtitles

Gripping, thought-provoking thriller with a strong script and impressive performances from its cast.

Hans Weingartner’s gripping thriller The Edukators received a warm reception from both audiences and critics when it played at the London Film Festival last year, so it’s pleasing to see it finally getting the decent theatrical release it deserves. It should also benefit from the presence of rising star Daniel Bruhl (Germany’s answer to Tobey Maguire), cementing his growing reputation after Goodbye Lenin and Ladies in Lavender.

Committed Activists Seek To Disrupt Rich

Bruhl and Stipe Erceg star as Jan and Peter, a pair of committed but essentially harmless anti-globalisation activists who break into rich people’s homes and freak them out by creatively moving all their furniture around and leaving notes that say things like, “Your days of plenty are numbered” or “You have too much money”.

Peter’s girlfriend Jule (Julia Jentsch) is an activist too, only she remains unaware of Peter and Jan’s nocturnal activities, just as Peter remains unaware of Jan and Jule’s growing attraction for each other. However, when a break-in unexpectedly results in the kidnapping of a businessman (Burghart Klaussner), the trio hole themselves up in a mountain retreat with their hostage while they figure out what to do.

The script is extremely well written and ensures that we never lose sympathy for the three main characters, even as their circumstances become more and more desperate. Weingartner orchestrates some impressively tense sequences, particularly as the emerging details of the love triangle begin to impact on the hostage situation.

Good Performances All Round

The acting is extremely good. Bruhl is as good here as he was in Goodbye Lenin and there’s chemistry between all three characters, so you really believe in their complicated relationship. There’s also strong support from Klaussner, whose character is full of surprises in more ways than one.

The political message of The Edukators is such that it feels like a genuinely important film - perhaps, when the revolution comes, people will look back and see this movie as an early warning sign. Or, you know, perhaps not. At any rate, the film takes pains to present different sides and viewpoints and is extremely thought-provoking as a result.

In short, The Edukators is a thoroughly enjoyable thriller that deserves to be seen by as wide an audience as possible. Highly recommended.

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Content updated: 22/08/2018 07:57

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