Review: ‘Lose Your Head’

A young Spanish tourist gets swept up in the hedonistic Berlin club scene in Stefan Westerwelle's unbalanced "Lose Your Head," strictly a gay-fest-ghetto offering.

A young Spanish tourist gets swept up in the hedonistic Berlin club scene in Stefan Westerwelle’s unbalanced “Lose Your Head,” written and co-directed by Patrick Schuckmann. Oddly moralistic in how it presents the city’s diversity as cause for celebration and then turns into a nightmare scenario where letting yourself go can lead to death, the pic bogs down in an unconvincing trudge through paranoid-thriller territory, made leaden by the thesps’ discomfort with the rhythms of English. Result is strictly a gay-fest-ghetto offering.

The sensitivity of Westerwelle’s debut, “While You Are Here,” is little in evidence here apart from a few chiaroscuro touches. Luis (Fernando Tielve) leaves Madrid and plunges into Berlin’s nightlife to escape relationship issues. He meets Rasputin-like Ukrainian Viktor (Marko Mandic) and unconvincingly falls in love, even though Viktor may be responsible for the disappearance of Dimitri (Jan Amazigh Sid), searched for by his sister Elena (Sesede Terziyan) and cousin Kostas (Stavros Yagulis). A promising start with a buoyant sense of humor quickly dissolves into a murky play with levels of reality and perception that’s more clunky than unsettling.

Lose Your Head

Germany

Production

A Mutter-Film production. Produced by Patrick Schuckmann, Michael Schuckmann. Directed by Stefan Westerwelle. Co-director, Patrick Schuckmann. Screenplay, Patrick Schuckmann.

Crew

Camera (color), Julia Daschner; editor, Ute Schall; music, Freedarich, Touchy Mob; production designers, Janina Niemesch, Maria Fechner, Karl Hermann Reith; costume designer, Catia Sofia Pereira Garcia; sound (5.1), Lothar Segeler; line producer, Judit Ruster. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Panorama), Feb. 8, 2013. Running time: 105 MIN.

With

Fernando Tielve, Marko Mandic, Sesede Terziyan, Stavros Yagulis, Samia Chancrin, Jonas Berami, Jan Amazigh Sid, Rummelsnuff, Claudia Splitt, Kaspar Kamaeleon, Dieter Rita Scholl, Nico Doering, Andrea Chirico. (English, German, Greek dialogue)

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