A potentially fun concept hits a score of flat notes in the poorly applied and awkwardly explained “BerlinSong,” a docu about musical process and love of the German metropolis. With the right participants and the right compositions, the pic could have been an overture to a cash-cow series franchise, but with these undistinguished unknowns and their unremarkable ditties, that’s not feasible. Pic may harmonize with music or youth-themed fests, but encore gigs elsewhere are unlikely.
Producer-director Uli M. Schueppel engages six twentysomething expatriates (one Norwegian, one Aussie, one Dutch, one Brit, two Americans) residing in Berlin to write a song about the berg that is their adopted home. Pic spends too much time on their occasionally stimulating reflections about their adopted home and their creative journey and not enough on the music itself. Docu’s greatest failing is inadequately and belatedly explaining its premise. Songs (with mainly English lyrics) are OK, but Oz warbler Kat Frankie is poorly served by having her voiceover comments played over her musical contribution. Final cafe concert is virtually skipped over. B&W lensing creates an unfulfilled promise of edgy atmosphere, and tech credits are sharp.