Good Bye Lenin! – Movie Review (2018 FIFA World Cup™ Special Series)

Group F

russiawc2018

Info

Country: Germany
Original Title: Good Bye Lenin!
Director: Wolfgang Becker
Release: 2003
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Good Bye, Lenin! (Special Edition)

Good Bye, Lenin! 08.png

World Cup Historic

It’s time we talk about the current champions.

Although Germany played some games in late 1890, their football association was founded in 1900.

Adidas Germany 2018 Home Replica Jersey White/Black L

In the last review, we talked about how only four European teams participated of the first World Cup and Germany wasn’t one of them, but they were there in 1934 and 1938 with a Germany under the Nazi Rule.

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Image from British Pathé taken from a Daily Mail article

Germany, alongside Japan, was banned from the 1950 World Cup, because of the World War II, while the other Nazi allies, including former fascist Italy, had their participation allowed.

The 1930 and 1950 World Cups were only Germany didn’t participate and with this edition, it will be a total of 19 participations.

The very next edition, 1954, Germany, or West Germany at that time, got the first title, winning the final against the powerful Hungary of Ferenc Puskás and the top scorer of the tournament Sándor Kocsis.

They won again in 1974, 1990 and 2014. The last one in Brazil winning the semi-finals with a 7-1 against the hosts and then 1-0 against Argentina, in the extra-time.

The team called up in the preliminary list for the World Cup have established star players like Tony Kroos and young talents like Leroy Sané, making a very interesting mix of generations looking forward to winning their second World title in a row.

There is something improbable, but possible, that can happen this year. If either Brazil or Germany finishes second in their group while the other finish first, they would have an encounter in the early Round of 16.

The World Cup almost always have surprises, like Hungary not winning the 1954 World Cup or a 7-1 against the most powerful national team in football history. We’ll see if Germany can surprises again, for the good or for the bad.

Prelude

“Good Bye, Lenin!” tells the story of Alex, a young man doing unimaginable thinks to spare his socialist mother the pain of founding out a nearly unified Germany, opened up to the capitalist world.

Good Bye, Lenin! 01
Alex (Daniel Brühl), mother (Katrin Saß) and sister Ariane (Maria Simon)

After the Second World War, Germany was divided into East and West. East Germany was a socialist and Soviet-occupied.

In November 1989, the wall that divided Germany in two began to be taken down, an extremely important event in history and a moment that provided us with very iconic scenes of people crossing and helping tear the wall apart.

One of the things that the fall of the Berlin Wall marked was in some way, the end of communism. Even though some conspiracy theorists love to “accuse” people of trying to implement communism, we could say that communism is not a reality for most countries anymore.

Vladimir Lenin statue
Statue of Lenin

According to an article published at ThoughtCo, there are only five “communist countries” left today.

Upon reading the article, we can observe that, with exception of North Korea, all of them have opened to the rest of the world and have changed their policies to better adequate to the state of the world.

The exception, North Korea, doesn’t even consider their regime as communism and chose to remove from records every mention of Marxism, Leninism and even the word “communism” (Source).

Good Bye, Lenin! 11.png
German flags flying after a World Cup win

In early 1990 the two sides, now without a wall, began talks to reunify the country, and between talks and the actual reunification, there was a World Cup, won by West Germany.

Shortly after the reunification of Germany, there was a reunification of the football team and association.

The 1990 World Cup is constantly in the background of this movie and was one of the reasons I chose to review it. The movie is great and sometimes I even think I’m kind of unfair with it in my judgment.

Good Bye, Lenin!

Quite recently I binge watched a series called The Alienist, I quite liked it and intend to review it after this World Cup reviews end. The star of the series is Daniel Brühl, a talented man, now famous worldwide.

Good Bye, Lenin! 12
Alex (Daniel Brühl)

That was not the case in 2003, the year of “Good Bye, Lenin!”, started by the same Daniel Brühl, but we could say that the guy already showed talent as Alexander Kerner or Alex.

Alex goes to a demonstration against East Germany government and ends up being arrested. His mother, Christiane (Katrin Saß) an avid socialist, sees this scene and literally have a heart attack.

Good Bye, Lenin! 04
Christiane (Katrin Saß) after the heart attack

Christiane stays in a coma for months, and when she awakens, everything is different and opened for the western world.

Afraid that his mother could have another heart attack and die if she sees how things changed, Alex does unimaginable efforts to keep the mother alienated from the recent events and thinking nothing has changed.

Lara (Chulpan Khamatova) is the nurse of Christiane, she and Alex began a relationship. It’s a nice relationship story and a liked her character as well as I like Alex’s character.

Good Bye, Lenin! 09
Lara (Chulpan Khamatova)

The movie presents several historical images throughout, so we see the historical events unfold and the lives of the people being affected by those events. It’s a very nice resource used in this film.

I also liked the general appearance of the movie and something I found interesting about it was how every space seems tight, almost claustrophobic and a little bit chaotic. Not that I particularly like this kind of setting, but really worked for “Good Bye, Lenin!”.

Another interesting aspect related to the appearance was the use of CGI to give the “1989-1990 East Germany feeling” to the city. This imperceptible use of CGI is commonly used by big directors like David Fincher and is an awesome resource to rely on when well done.

Good Bye, Lenin! 02
Christiane (Katrin Saß)

It’s the type of movie that makes you think at the same time that makes you laugh, and that is something I can really appreciate. Sometimes is important to bring a little lightness to life, even when the theme is serious.

The reason I said I think I’m unfair to this film is that I gave it 8 Moons and is a recognize it as a great movie that I didn’t enjoy as much as to give it 9. It’s an 8 definitely flirting with the 9, but still an 8.

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Author: Marlon Santos

Random guy who loves movies and series, among other things.

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