Starring: Ulrich Mühe, Helge Schneider, Sylvester Groth
Director: Dani Levy
Running Time: 89 mins
My Fuhrer (Mein Führer – Die wirklich wahrste Wahrheit über Adolf Hitler) is a German film about a Jewish man who is recruited by Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels to assist Adolf Hitler in preparing his New Year’s Day 1945 speech, with Germany on the brink of collapse.
Yes, this is effectively The King’s Speech with Adolf Hitler. Of course, the big difference between the two is that this film is far from reality, and takes a much lighter-hearted, more eccentric approach to its story, but if you’ve seen The King’s Speech, then you pretty much know what you’re in for here.
And while I enjoyed My Fuhrer’s bizarre, quirky qualities, its similarities to The King’s Speech are actually representative of its biggest problem: a lack of real comedic ingenuity or good storytelling. While the two films tell the same story about the unlikely relationship between a head of state and the man assisting with their speech, they should actually be totally different, but the fact that My Fuhrer feels so much like The King’s Speech shows that it just doesn’t have the audacity or confidence to take its zaniest qualities to greater lengths.
Now, on the one hand, the fact that I enjoyed that farcical, eccentric style of comedy does show that there are laughs here, but on the other, it is disappointing how the movie doesn’t use that approach to good effect, with a lack of proper laugh-out-loud humour, and jokes that may prove initially funny, but unfortunately repetitive and underwhelming come the end.
So, if you’re wanting to see a movie about a strange, caricature version of Adolf Hitler who you strangely find a way to sympathise with, then My Fuhrer has that to a degree, but it doesn’t quite push forth into a fully zany sphere of comedy, making what could have been a thoroughly bizarre and hilarious movie feel rather disappointing in the end.
Now, those comparisons with The King’s Speech are problematic when you’re wanting to see good, eccentric comedy from My Fuhrer, but when it comes to the story, it does at least mean that there is a solid plot here, to the extent that it even feels somewhat believable at times.
Of course, this isn’t a true story, but the screenplay is grounded and engaging enough to keep you convinced throughout, even if that, in turn, takes away from the more eccentric style that could have made this even funnier.
Overall, then, I was a little disappointed with My Fuhrer. While its eccentric brand of humour and strange premise do make for some good laughs throughout, it’s something that wears off significantly over the course of the movie, while it proves further frustrating with a story that, while surprisingly convincing, takes away from the comedic potential of the movie, and that’s why I’m giving this a 7.0.