Review: ‘Boundaries’

Auditioning thesps are a little more than colleagues and less than kind in "Boundaries."

Teuton thepians auditioning for the leads in “Hamlet” are a little more than colleagues and less than kind in “Boundaries,” writer-helmer Andreas Kleinert’s oddball tale of backstage romance and backstabbing. Again shooting in crisp black-and-white after his “Paths in the Night,” Kleinert here finds some substance to match his style, even though the tonally diverse material never becomes more than the sum of its parts. While Shakespeare in German might sound rotten to Anglophone ears, this play-within-a-film might be the thing for smaller fests elsewhere.

A once-great director (Matthias Habich) summons a motley crew of Berlin actors to nowheresville, where he works with them for a week before making his choice, with Kleinert following everyone onstage and off. Though this might conjure visions of “American Idol” for German stage actors, individual scenes, ranging from drama to hilarious comedy, are often smarter than that, though because they’re improvised, they often work better as stand-alones than as part of a larger whole. Klara Manzel, a possible Ophelia, and Paul Preuss, as a teenage theater technician, are the standouts in a strong ensemble. Tech package is tidy.




An HFF Konrad Wolf presentation and production. Produced by Javelle Bauersfeld. Directed, written by Andreas Kleinert.


Camera (B&W, 35mm/HD), Jakob Seeman; editor, Till Ufer; composer, Daniel Dickmeis; production designer, Myrna Drews; costume designers, Simone Kreska, Simone Zimmermann. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Panorama), Feb. 17, 2010. German, Russian dialogue. Running time: 96 MIN.


Matthias Habich, Paul Preuss, Klara Manzel, Volkram Zschiesche, Christoph Humnig, Nora Rim Abdel-Maksoud, Jessica Richter, Matthias Ransberger, Jan Dose, Julia Gorr, Moses Leo.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety