Brought together by their father’s death and dressed in the same suits they had worn to his funeral, two estranged brothers travel throughout Germany to fulfil plans they had arranged in their childhood.
Travelling on the back of decrepit mopeds that have aged as poorly as the feud that keeps them apart, the trip is not the destination but the reconnection of the two brothers (yougeddit).
It is easy to fall in love with the warm glow that exudes from the brothers mending their relationship, with 25 km/h bearing a quaint charm resemblant of Laurel and Hardy; mixing serious-versus-silly archetypes and an unexpected dance sequence that feels absurdist.
Lead actors Bjarne Mädel (Georg) and Lars Eidinger (Christian) convey the hard and soft of brotherhood by delivering beautiful portraits of brothers who embody comedic behaviours and stubborn attitudes.
Humour is ripe throughout the film, combining a hodgepodge of shenanigans that Georg and Christian endure on their odyssey (the interaction with a rage-fueled athlete is among one of the more bizarre yet hilarious scenes of the film) that build towards shortening the emotional distance that separates them.
25 km/h confidently – if not occasionally over-powering – boasts an anthemic soundtrack that meets somewhere in between road-trip mixtape and indie-pop-ballads a la Call Me by Your Name.
Director Markus Goller captures the lush beauty of Germany with scenic landscapes – the stuff of German Tourism campaigns – visualized early on to establish the spiritual and transformative connection humans have with nature.
Goller is persistent in his commentary on modern parenting with nearly every child seen throughout 25 km/h exposed to some form of extreme parenting that verges on damaging. His desire to show the cracks and resentment we bring forth from childhood into adulthood is nuanced yet absorbing.
25 km/h is polished filmmaking containing pitch-perfect performances that kick-start this stunningly-shot, feel-good pleaser into second gear.
25 km/h screens as part of the 2019 German Film Festival. For more information, screening locations and times, visit: www.germanfilmfestival.com.au for details.
Image: Bjarne Mädel and Lars Eidinger feature in 25 km/h (supplied)
Review: Hagan Osborne