Year Released: 2000
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 89 minutes
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The title is misleading, as Alaska refers only to a pipeline running through the East Berlin suburb where the story takes place, and there’s not a computer in sight (so why the dot-com designation for Germany?). Also, it’s billed as a love story, but this is actually a gritty teen drama … and not a very successful one at that. Anyway, the plot centres on 16-year-old Sabine (Palleske), who meets Eddie (Droese) when she’s looking for her father’s apartment amongst endless blocks of flats. He reluctantly helps her, then is pleasantly surprised to find her in school the next day. Not that he’d ever let her know that! Still, there’s a growing spark between them until she sees his best friend Mischa (Blume) fleeing from the scene of a murder. They all end up in a cycle of violence and deceit.
As the story shifts increasingly into a violent crime drama, any thought of tentative teen romance falls by the wayside. This wouldn’t be a problem if all the gun and knife-play weren’t so hackneyed. It’s like the filmmakers couldn’t think of an original way to end the story, so they just had everyone start going after each other. Unfortunately, this leaves the film’s terrific early section flapping in the breeze. Because the set-up is beautifully done with edgy cinematography that nicely captures both the grim setting and the energy and emotion of the young actors (who are all good). There’s also an evocative musical score and some very clever editing at work here, up until the story takes one overwrought turn too many. Ah well.
Posted on July 30, 2003 in Reviews by Rich Cline
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- THE TEEN DIGITAL MOVIE-MAKING COMPETITION
- MONA LISA (CRITERION SPECIAL EDITION DVD)
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