Oh Boy! (EUFF) | Movie Release, Showtimes & Trailer | Cinema Online
Movie Details

Oh Boy! (EUFF)

The film follows Niko Fischer, a young man who does not study anymore and does not work, going through his day wondering aimlessly through contemporary Berlin. Although he does not have a job, he finds himself busy throughout the day as things happen to him. The film is director Jan Ole Gerster`s debut film and thesis project for the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin. The film won the 2013 German Film Award for best feature film.

Language: German
Subtitle: English
Classification: U
Release Date: 7 Nov 2013
Genre: Comedy
Running Time: 1 Hour 23 Minutes
Distributor: FILM FESTIVAL ORGANIZER
Cast: Tom Schilling, Katharina Schüttler, Justus von Dohnányi
Director: Jan Ole Gerster
Format: 2D

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Review
Writer: Casey Lee

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Watch this if you liked: "Manhattan"

"Oh Boy" opens with a quick and painless breakup between Niko Fishcer (Tom Schilling) and his French girlfriend (Katharina Schüttler). When she asks the reason for why he is not coming back to her, he replies her that he is busy with 'a million appointments' that makes him unsuited for a commitment.

Afterwards, we see him moving into an empty apartment, with most of his stuff still packed in their boxes, looking eager to start his life again and thinking what he should do with his new found freedom.
After all, Niko is at the prime time of his life but he has turned himself into an aimless slacker. He is in his 20s, who has just dropped out from university. He is out of money and is being told to get a job by his demeaning but hardworking father (Ulrich Noethen). He has a fair bit of problem with alcohol enough to warrant his driving license to be suspended and he is always thinking. That's why he always has 'a million appointments', because he is always 'thinking', 'thinking about everything' and doesn't want to be tied down to anything so that he can just go with the flow. Unable to make up his mind, we follow behind Niko as he meets with whoever he encounters while exploring the city of Berlin through its public transport system.

If the premise of just watching a lost bum wandering around Berlin isn't your idea of having any potential insight or fun, then it's best to avoid Jan Ole Gerster's gray and contemplative observation of the fatigue that comes from searching a direction in life (juxtaposed by the cheery jazz score of Cherilyn MacNeil) because that is what you won't be missing from the short one and half hour runtime.

Tom Schilling gives an empathetic performance with his stumbling mumbles and charm, and it is matched by the distinct but distant turns of those he meets, which helps to establish the disconnect of Schilling's character with anyone and reality. Whether it is the obnoxious but lonesome neighbour (Justus von Dohnányi) stalking him on the stairwell of his new apartment, hanging out with his talented but undiscovered actor friend (Marc Hosemann) on the set of a wartime film, reuniting with the once 'roly poly' but now stunning female classmate who had a crush on him (Friederike Kempter), or sharing drinks with the philosophical old geezer (Michael Gwisdek) at the bar, who would have the transitional role of shifting the paradigm of what makes "Oh Boy" more than just a well shot journey of youthful wanderlust.

To the discerning watcher, "Oh Boy" has a poignant commentary to the melancholy and uncertainty of a much larger post-war Germany that searches for itself in Gerster's subtle writing, as Niko moves from one seemingly pointless meeting to another on his constantly futile search for a cup of coffee, and this wraps up "Oh Boy" to be a more thoughtful and well executed piece by a very matured director on his first try.

This is certainly for one who needs to be shown that German cinema is more than just about bashing their Nazi heritage or needing to re-tell war stories. There is much to be learned and appreciated here about using softness and subtlety in addressing a hard-pressing national identity that starts from the self.

Cinema Online, 15 November 2013
   
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Classification
U - General viewing for all ages
P13 - Parental guidance is advisable for children below 13 years old
18 - For 18+ with elements for mature audiences
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