Starring: Tristan Göbel, Anand Batbileg, Nicole Mercedes Müller
Director: Fatih Akin
Running Time: 90 mins
Goodbye Berlin (Tschick) is a German film about two teenage outsiders who take a spontaneous road trip during the summer holidays across the East of Germany.
This is a really wonderful film. Charming, free-spirited and uplifting throughout, it’s a delightful coming-of-age tale following two boys coming out of their shells and experiencing life to the full, on a hugely entertaining adventure that’s full of exciting twists and turns, great laughs and often touching emotion too.
Of course, there are countless classic coming-of-age movies out there, generally following the same pattern, so what makes Goodbye Berlin such a special watch? Well, while it may at first seem a little bit on the safe side in following the Stand By Me formula, this film is just so genuine and heartfelt all the way to its core, with a soaring spirit that throws off all the shackles and lets its main characters loose on the adventure of a lifetime.
And that alone is more than enough to prove why this is such a wonderful film. Recognising the struggles of being an outsider as a teenager with a striking opening act, the journey these two go on is spectacular to watch, not only as they traverse delightful landscapes and come across all manner of exciting adventures, but also to see them change and grow up so much in such a short space of time.
On the face of things, it may sound like a rather simple premise, but it’s not always that easy to carry out perfectly. However, what Goodbye Berlin does is keep the central focus on the wide-eyed sense of wonderment and awe of its two main characters as they discover entirely new things about the world, and discover that they themselves can do things they never thought they could.
Add on top of that a brilliant sense of humour that features a good bit of easy-going, childish fun, as well as poking fun at all the stereotypes of being a teenager as these two break free from their lives as social outcasts. The film isn’t just an uplifting and adventurous free spirit, but also one that’s filled with energy, humour and a heartwarming disregard for the struggles of home, an equally touching element to the story that only makes it more delightful.
Overall, I adored Goodbye Berlin. A blissfully simple film on the surface, but a coming-of-age tale told in wonderful fashion, it’s an exciting, funny, charming and uplifting adventure that will touch you and make you smile right the way through, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.7.