F.R.I.E.N.D.S.?

The German-Austrian crime drama film shows a kind of friendship that, I suppose it’s say to say, pretty unusual and unconventional. Jan and Peter were the perfect imagery of two young adult misfits who just wanted to find their place and belongingness in a world that was socially and politically topsy turvy. We know where you live and we are watching you – a message that the two “edukators” wanted to express in their nightly adventures of breaking into rich peoples’ homes and rearranging all of their stuff, with absolutely zero intention to steal or destroy any of it. It is a pretty weird agenda to wrap one’s head around. Jan develops an intimate and super close friendship with Jule aka Peter’s girlfriend and significant other, and decides to give her permission to join in on his next escapade, now with a wealthy man named Hardenberg as the target, giving Jule the opportunity to pay revenge to the man who caused her heaving financial struggles. The relationship and dynamic of the four (yes, this includes the man they made to suffer aka Hardenberg) developed into something extremely complex and, honestly, pretty weird as they journeyed towards a far flung place in order to give the edukators time to figure out what their next game plan was, giving them room to bounce back from the slip up that they had experienced. It was really interesting and refreshing as well to witness such passionate young anti-capitalist activists who were not violent (or at least, intentionally) and still had genuine wholesome fun in their experiences of protest and rebellion.

I was thoroughly confused throughout the film but just a few minutes in, I was honestly already hooked because it seemed interesting. With Daniel Bruhl making a comeback after seeing him act for the first time in Goodbye Lenin!, he did not disappoint with his performance in this film yet again. It is always interesting how films take different varieties of approaches in making socially and politically relevant messages for their target audiences. This film had a milder take compared to Goodbye Lenin!. Nonetheless, the love triangle dynamic was something that I could not quite put my finger on: it was distracting, frustrating, but utterly entertaining at the same time. That incredibly strange sequence in the near end of the film when Peter found out about Jan and Jule was honestly humorous to me, as there were scenes that were discomfortingly funny and awkward, despite the tension that the situation was supposed to bring. Intelligent use of musical scoring as well, with Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley playing in the most random times.

All in all, The Edukators was a special charm of a movie, and begged us to ask questions about societal structures and systems, as well as the humanity behind all of the glitz and glamor that we try to chase in our every day lives. This may be one of my favorite films from the class, and I would love to look back and re-watch again if I had the chance to do so.

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