Opening 31 Aug 2023
The title translates to Sophia, Death and I. Here “I” is Reiner Helberg (Dimitrij Schaad), a caregiver by profession, who lives alone. Several people knock on his door including three girls representing Jehovah Witnesses. The next visitor is Death, also known as Morten de Sarg (Marc Hosemann), who gives Reiner three more minutes to live. This plan fails, when Reiner’s ex-girl-friend Sophia (Anna Maria Mühe) arrives; they plan to visit Reiner’s mother, Lore (Johanna Gastdorf), for her 63rd birthday. All three, Sophia, Death, and I, i.e., Reiner, hop on the train to Lore’s house, where we meet a neighbor who gardens for Lore. We also meet Death #2, named Morck Mortus (Carlo Ljubek). Later Reiner visits his son Johnny, whom he hasn’t seen in seven years, although he mails him postcards.
The first half of the film is a three-person story; three additional main roles come up in the second half. Morten de Sarg is all dressed up in a fine suit and looks rather pale, as to be expected considering he is Death. He and his “colleague” Morck dance together, as well as fight over who gets to take Reiner away. We often visit archangel Michaela’s (Lina Beckmann) kiosk, where many other Deaths pick up diaries of the people whom they will fetch for their end. And what’s this little toy giraffe? A good part of the film is a road movie, either by train or car—including “Death” at the wheel. Based on the 2015 book by Thees Uhlmann, it’s interesting that we can enjoy comic events in a movie about dying. But perhaps it’s really a new take on life, definitely worthwhile to view, in the perfect length of 90 minutes. (Becky Tan)