Superegos (Uber-Ich und Du): Berlin Review
Freudian neurosis meets post-war German guilt in this ambitious but uneven comedy from writer-director Benjamin Heisenberg.
Their comic chemistry should yield rich material, especially when Nick begins to mirror Curt's neuroses, while the old man feels his crumbling mental faculties revitalized by having such a psychologically complex case to study. With its colorful visual backdrop of mountains and lakes, deluxe villas and hot air balloons, Superegos is easy on the eye.
Unfortunately, it is also hobbled by uneven shifts of tone and momentum, lurching off into superfluous subplots and labored slapstick. The cultured gangsters pursuing Nick, led by the stern matriarch Mutter (Maria Hofstatter), are cartoonish caricatures with no hint of menace. An extended sequences in which Curt buries Nick up to his neck in mud for therapeutic reasons becomes genuinely disturbing, and arguably belongs in a much darker film.
There are nods to Woody Allen here in the shrink-culture plot, plain credits and exuberant retro-jazz soundtrack, but with little of primetime Woody's zingy wit. Admirably ambitious, but less than the sum of its parts, Superegos will not go down in history as one of Heisenberg's more memorable movies. More like a Freudian slip.
Production companies: Vega Film, Novotny & Novotny Filmproduktion, Peter Heilrath Filmproduktion
Producers: Janine Jackowski, Jonas Dornbach, Maren Ade
Cast: Georg Friedrich, Andre Wilms, Bettina Stucky, Susanne Wolff, Maria Hofstatter
Director: Benjamin Heisenberg<
Screenwriters: Benjamin Heisenberg, Josef Lechner
>Cinematography: Reinhold Vorschneider
Editors: Stefan Kalin, Andreas Wodraschke
Music: Lorenz Dangel
Sales company: Films Distribution, Paris
Unrated, 94 minutes