"Marija" is a Swiss/German co-production that premiered back in 2016 and runs for 95 minutes. Director and co-writer is Michael Koch and this is after some short film efforts his very first full feature film and as he is fairly young many more could follow. At least I hope so to some extent because this movie here was definitely worth seeing from beginning to end. Awards bodies agreed. The title character is played by Margarita Breitkreiz and while I would not say she really won me over, I still think she did a good job given the fact that she is in basically every scene of the movie from start to finish. This is about a relatively poor Eastern European woman living in Germany, who saves a great deal of money so that her dream of having her own barber shop can come true one day. On the way, she meets several people, men as well, and these seem to develop serious love interest in her more qucikly than I expected. Problem is these men also have serious problems with anger issues and it shows, even if it took a little while longer for Friedrich's character to act like that. I like Georg Friedrich, he is the only cast member I knew here and it's nice to see him show up in a film like this to give a relatively new movie maker a chance as his name definitely gains a film additional attention. But really all the actors did a good job. The fact that I did not know most of them, almost all of them in fact, should not say they aren't talented or anything. My loss I guess. There are not really that many characters in the film. Of course there is Marija at the center of it all and most of the time she shares the screen with Georg and Cem and I think this makes it a pretty essential movie as the movie elaborates profoundly on all the key players and it also feels like a realistic movie. I never had the impression I was watching actors instead of actual characters. Well.. maybe I did not cheer too much for the main character, but that was not the filmmaker's main intention. Marija is far from being flawless or an angel. But still you get curious how things go on and who she will end up with, if with anybody at all and if she will make her dream come true. It is a pretty bleak movie and maybe not for everybody because of that. It shows that life is not a pony farm as we say here in Germany, but that it can very well be a hard-fought struggle on one's way to achieving your goals. But I mentioned the realism that results from it earlier. So yeah, I think this film was a success all in all and if you get a chance to see it, then take it. It's probably not too easy to get your hands on a copy outside of Germany, but if you do, then do not miss out. It's not a film that really oozes greatness, but it works for what it is and I am glad it got the awards attention too that may increase its popularity overall. So yeah, I give "Marija" a thumbs-up. Positively surprised here.
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Marija, a young Ukranian woman, earns a living as a cleaning woman in a hotel in Dortmund, but dreams of having her own hairstyling salon, and puts away some money each month. But when she is fired without notice, her dream is suddenly postponed to an uncertain future. Jobless and under financial pressure, she is forced to look for alternatives but, in order to achieve her goal, she is ready to discard her body, her social relationships and her own feelings. —69th Locarno International Film Festival
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
May 01, 2022 at 12:18 AM