In my latest small screen adventure I visited Berlin. Oh Boy is in some ways a study of first world problems and social inadequacies – that doesn’t mean the characters or the story come off as shallow. In fact it is Niko’s faulty front of casual arrogance that the film plays on and draws you deeper into the story and the characters around him.
This is a guy who is experiencing the pressure of life choices that will define his immediate future. He is trying to delay the inevitable as long as possible by making no choice at all. At times this feels a little like an episode of louie or curb your enthusiasm. A series of increasingly comedic but uncomfortable social interactions magnified by Niko’s own insecurity and high level of intelligence. The characters around Niko are great and have their own failings and shortcomings help to emphasise our anti-hero who is lost in the loneliness and lack of easy social contact of the great city of Berlin (as only a single local can feel it). He sees what his life can be like if he makes the same choices as his friends, faulty though they are and he sees learns what his life will be like if he continues making no choices at all.
Apart from the charming black and white look on screen, the city of Berlin itself has its own fractured and soulful character woven into the film. The cast delivers a faithful portrayal of the life of youth on the inside of a 21st century metropolis where the choices about education, work and love and existence seem insignificant in the broader context of the social and global ideological disfunction raging all around. In this way the film as philosophical as it is personal. One of the better pseudo-black comedies of recent times
Rating: See it
Ehonda – out.