Netflix’s ‘Je Suis Karl’ shows promise but falls a little short

By Leonardo Cervantes

Netflix’s “JE SUIS KARL” is a German drama political film centered around an anti-government movement.
The film was directed by Christian Schwochow and stars Luna Wedler as Maxi Baier, and Jannis Niewöhner as Karl.
The press were harassing Maxi to the point she had to evade them. At one point, Karl came and offered his coat to Maxi so she wouldn’t be as recognizable and could get home with the least amount of attention as possible.
The film begins with older couple Alex Baier, played by Milan Peschel, and Ines Baier, played by Melanie Fouche, going to meet with a Libyan refugee called Yusuf.
The couple successfully smuggles Yusuf into Germany and they celebrate together.
A two-year time skip happens and the Baier family are all together at their apartment.
The family was gathering traditionally and everybody has having a good time as kids play around the house.
Alex suddenly decides to head downstairs to buy some groceries. Soon after he exits the building, a loud explosion is heard that knocks him down to the ground leaving him with multiple injuries.
Cars were destroyed, animals were killed and at least 10 people died from the explosion. The place he once called home is now a giant hole.
Alex suspected that the person that delivered him a box might have planted a bomb but he was unable to identify the deliverer.
Maxi was his only family member to survive because she wasn’t home during the explosion.
The way Maxi and Karl met was a bit tacky and too coincidental. She was an extremely cautious person and although Karl did help her hide from the media it felt too sudden for her to be trusting a stranger.
One could say that perhaps she felt lonely and needed to vent to somebody but they instantly bonded and began talking.
Karl invited Maxi to attend a Prague summer academy that he organized with his group called “Re/Generation.”
The plot twist of the film was when Maxi decided to join the Fascist group called “Re/Generation,” that she saw online. Karl happened to be one of the leaders of the group.
He was the one that organized and executed the Berlin attack. She never knew the details but even so decided to attend and speak at his conventions.
A sudden shift happened with Maxi’s attitude during this time and she was all in on the group.
She remembers a time when her mother said “Break one rule every day otherwise that day hasn’t been lived,” and she seemed to take that quote to heart.
The explosion was big news around the city and groups of people were either annoying Maxi or questioning her about what happened.
The music was severely lacking in this film. Since it’s a suspenseful film you would expect some eerie instrumentals or music, but it was rather lackluster and not engaging enough.
They played some instrumentals and some rap songs but neither were really good or went with the theme of the film.
The setting was always dark and gloomy which goes well with the film. Maxi’s acting was good, especially compared to the rest of the cast as they all felt too robotic.
Maxi had many emotional scenes and you could see the emotion on her face. Maxi was energetic and her emotions felt authentic.
Maxi abruptly travels to Prague with a stranger without telling her father any details. Maxi befriends Karl and the rest of the group and they begin telling each other details of why they joined the group.
Overall the film was promising but the delivery felt as if it was missing a lot. The premise of the film was better than the way it was actually executed.
Every scene felt like it was rushed and everybody was moving too fast.

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