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Freaks: You’re One of Us 2020 Movie Review Poster Trailer Cast Crew Online
Director: Felix Binder
Writer: Marc O. Seng
Stars: Cornelia Gröschel, Tim Oliver Schultz, Wotan Wilke Möhring
Wendy (Cornelia Gröschel) is content with her mundane life, which revolves around her son Karl (Finnlay Berger), her nasty boss Angela (Gisa Flake) and pushing her laidback husband Lars (Frederic Linkemann) to save their house. But in the midst of all this, she rediscovers her superpower of super strength, which she has suppressed through years of medication prescribed by her shrink Dr Stern (Nina Kunzendorf). What follows is not just a plain road to self-discovery, but meeting fellow ‘Freaks’ like her, an ally who has gone rogue, and making a choice between her family and finding her life’s purpose.
The movie begins with a young girl, who is scared and hiding in a corner of her school’s indoor play area, listening to songs on her Walkman, while there’s tension and helter-skelter all over the place. Dr Stern is shocked to see the unbelievable damage done by a very young Wendy and instantly knows she is ‘different’. She consoles the girl, who is petrified but has found her solace in her Walkman.
The movie cuts to the present day, where a grown-up Wendy diligently takes her pills and manages work, home and her appointments with Dr Stern. Her colleague Elmar (Tim Oliver Schultz) is as timid as her.
However, things change when a homeless man Marek (Wotan Wilke Möhring) makes Wendy realise her true powers, while showing his superpower-invincibility. Soon, Wendy stops taking her prescribed pills and regains her old strength and power. But it is only after breaking into her shrink’s office that she realises that Elmar, too, is just like her. After Wendy confronts Elmar, he realises his electrical powers and wants to claim fame as ‘Electro Man.’ But as they understand their powers, things go astray.
You root for Wendy right from the word go and you want her to fix her immediate shortcomings. It was super exciting to watch Wendy realising her superpower for the first time. Be it bashing drunkard hooligans or bullies who are making her son’s life hell, Wendy quickly takes control of her life. Her transformation cheers you up. But this is also the point when the film starts to feel predictable. Underdog stories are one of the easiest ways to connect with the audience, but can be very tricky if not handled well. While the concept of ‘Freaks – You Are One of Us’ heavily relies on the concept that those who are different must be kept away from society, and turning their strengths into weakness, the film could have been much better in terms of narrative and storytelling. While each character benefits from their emotional suppression, it is Elmar who shines post his transformation and Dr Stern is always giving vibes of Dr Lecter from The Silence of the Lambs.
With German series like ‘Dark’ and ‘Dogs of Berlin’ already amassing a huge crowd, ‘Freaks…’ too seemed like a gritty supernatural, sci-fi social drama. But sadly, the film’s gripping first half fails to hold our attention in the second half. Using the retro 80s’ music was a smart move. The background score kept the momentum high. While the editing has been kept crisp, the boring second half seemed very hurried. Even the female superhero angle wasn’t explored at all. The story and screenplay seem to lose their connect in the second half. The film was really low on some high-octane action scenes, considering it is a superhero flick. Even the last fight scene was cold. However, if you are a fan of an end-credit scene, the film has a sweet surprise at the end, which you shouldn’t miss!
In a nutshell, it’s a one-time watch if you are already done watching all the underdog films and series, and want a little different spin to it.
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