Opening 14 Jan 2016
Urs Blank (Bleibtreu) is a good-looking businessman in the obligatory suit and tie, well-known for his success in negotiating business mergers. He has the right wife and home and money. All is well except that he is also 45 years old. Need I say more? Mid-life crisis is pending. Naturally, opposites attract which takes him to his downfall via a hippie girl named Lucille. She entices him Into the Woods (not quite as fanciful as the film with that name) where he meets her hippie friends. They generously share their magic mushrooms. Perhaps because he is a virgin to this type of addiction, the aftereffects are serious. His personality and therefore, his life, changes drastically. He stops shaving and moves into the woods to live as a bearded hermit, more animal than human.
Who cares, except for perhaps his wife, who has enjoyed the financial cushion? The remainder of the film depicts his struggle to normality and the reaction of his co-workers. There is a constant violent tension, e.g., a cat turns into a monster, he chases a wolf and stabs both a deer and a dog; there is murder, suicide. Naturally, German actor Moritz Bleibtreu is excellent as Blank and the best reason to see the film. The story was originally a book of the same name by Martin Suter. The film played in the 2015 Filmfest Hamburg. (Becky Tan)