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Andreas Dresen is, sorry for repeating myself, among the three most interesting and relevant contemporary German-language filmmakers, so whatever he does is worth serious consideration. Halfway through this film I had my doubts whether this trust is still justified. During his previous movie “Wolke 9 / Cloud 9” I already experienced moments of, let’s admit it, boredom, when I had understood the characters and their dilemma, but still nobody took them any further for a while. In “Whisky / Wodka”, something similar happened when it was repeatedly stressed that the Otto character is beyond his peak and has to face the challenges of ageing (and he turns the saying “getting old is nothing for cowards” into a “getting old is nothing for ascetics”), and that he is not able to let his human side loose, and that he treats his surroundings like shit etc. Again, the narration stalled, and did not move on for another 20 minutes, when the development took an expected route into catharsis. There were not many surprises in the film, but the story was told with a genuine affection for the characters. This helps, and maybe it is what makes a “Dresen film”. I particularly like Henry Huebchen, whose face has aged very well and who has a stunning presence, a magnetism drawing attention to him in every setting (the previous film with him I had seen, maybe the only film I have seen, was “Alles auf Zucker / Go for Zucker” (http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/go_for_zucker/) , a hilarious comedy by Dani Levy). At the end of the day, the sentence is still valid: better an average Dresen than a good whoever, but I would love to see more intensity “Halbe Treppe” or “Willenbrock”-style, which are highlights of German film’s last thirty years, no doubt. Next time maybe. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/whiskey-with-vodka/ (not too much information there) and http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whisky_mit_Wodka (German)

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