The Other Boy

The parents of a bullied teen who shoots his tormentor attempt to cover up his crime in this over-plotted thriller.

With:
With: Andrea Sawatzki, Barbara Auer, Peter Lohmeyer, Christian Berkel, Willi Gerk, Hinnerk Schoenemann, Tim Oliver Schultz.

The parents of a bullied teen who shoots his tormentor attempt to cover up his crime in the over-plotted, undernourished family thriller “The Other Boy.” Faint echoes of Michael Haneke’s hard-hitting cautionary slugfests are lost in the listless pacing, leaving tube sales the most likely outlet despite Andrea Sawatzki’s surprise actress kudo in Montreal.

Evchen and Winnie Morell (Sawatzki, Peter Lohmeyer) and Sylvie and Jakob Wagner (Barbara Auer, Christian Berkel) live in the same Hamburg suburb and the two men work for the same prefab housing company. The Wagner’s teenage son Paul (Tim Oliver Schultz) is a monstrous punk who goads the Morell’s introverted son Robert (Willi Gerk) to fatal violence. Winnie nervously tries to cover up the crime, even as he fends off Jakob’s office power grab and vigilante tendencies. Cop Bender’s (Hinnerk Schoenemann) early ballistic test on the murder weapon, however, could have rendered pic a short subject. Conceived by helmer Volker Einrauch as the first in a vaguely Dogma-like series of technically no-frills ensemble showcases, pic simultaneously attempts to be an indictment of middle-class competitiveness and of police procedural tension, but becomes mired in both. Tech package is unremarkable.

–Eddie Cockrell

The Other Boy

Germany

Production: A Josefine production. (International sales: Josefine, Hamburg.) Produced by Hermine Huntgeburth, Lothar Kurzawa. Directed by Volker Einrauch. Screenplay, Lothar Kurzawa.

Crew: Camera (color), Bernd Meiners; editor, Inken Gudewer; music, Halma. Reviewed at Montreal Film Festival (competing), Aug. 25, 2007. Original title: Der andere Junge. Running time: 95 MIN.

With: With: Andrea Sawatzki, Barbara Auer, Peter Lohmeyer, Christian Berkel, Willi Gerk, Hinnerk Schoenemann, Tim Oliver Schultz.

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