Review: ‘Fed Up!’

Estonian helmer Peeter Simm looks on the bright side of desperation with his chirpy, comic road movie "Fed Up!", about oddball characters journeying from Leipzig to Tallinn. Commercial-flavored pic has bowed in Estonia and started its fest career at Shanghai, but it won't travel far beyond the Baltics or Germany as a theatrical release.

Veteran Estonian helmer Peeter Simm (“Good Hands”) looks on the bright side of desperation with his chirpy, comic road movie “Fed Up!”, about oddball characters journeying from Leipzig, Germany, to Tallinn, Estonia. Commercial-flavored pic has bowed in Estonia and started its fest career at Shanghai, but it won’t travel far beyond the Baltics or Germany as a theatrical release.

In Leipzig, depressed trucker Kominsky (Heio von Stretten) is assigned by his shady boss Radtke (Udo Schenk) to drive a rig to Tallinn. A mix-up at a gas station results in bank-robbery loot being stored in the truck, so young thief Hunt (Rosmus Koljujarv) and his born-again getaway driver Manfred (Thomas Schmauser, eye-catching) must pursue Kominsky by road and sea. Complicating matters is Kominsky’s cello-playing hitchhiker Stella (Maarja Jakobson), who is headed home after being, per title, fed up with life in Germany. Caper’s generally frothy tone is somewhat undercut by the participants’ downbeat backstories, but the stories do enable thesps von Stretten and Schmauser in particular to add extra half dimensions to essentially stock types. Tech package is frictionless in an efficient if lightweight, TV-movie way.

Fed Up!

Estonia-Germany

Production

A Ruut (Estonia)/Saxonia Media (Germany) presentation in association with Eesti Film Studios, Silja Line, Eesti Cultural Capital, the Estonian Ministry of Culture, FFA Film Foerderungsanstalt, MDR Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, DREFA Media Holding, GmbH, Telepool. (International sales: Telepool, Munich.) Produced by Artur Talvik, Hans-Werner Honert. Directed by Peeter Simm. Screenplay, Valentin Kuik, Simm, Hans-Werner Honert, Thomas Steinke.

Crew

Camera (color), Rein Kotov; editor, Margrit Schulz; music Sven Grunberg; production designer, Britt Urbla, Mattias Baumgaertel; costumes, Brit Urbla. Reviewed on DVD, London, June 14, 2006. (In Cannes Film Festival -- market, and Shanghai Film Festival -- Panorama.) Korini! German, Estonian dialogue. Running time: 91 MIN. With: Heio von Stretten, Rosmus Koljujarv, Maarja Jakobson, Thomas Schmauser, Udo Schenk, Rezija Kolnino.
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