‘Missing Fire’ review: An intimate new drama set in wildfires

Wildfires are a serious threat worldwide. U.S. states like Oregon and California seem to be perpetually under threat. Now, a new German-language film from acclaimed writer-director Christian Petzold is set against the backdrop of growing forest fires near the Baltic Sea. But this isn’t your typical natural disaster movie. Winner of the Jury Prize at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, on fire Most importantly, it’s a love story. How refreshing it is not falling into the Hollywood standard/cliché of heroism, cliché speeches and big-budget action scenes, given the menace of Consuming Flame. What follows is our more realistic account of society’s response.

quiet thoughts on love

The summer blockbuster season is upon us, and that means a raucous and bombastic lineup of films hitting North America— Mission Impossible, Oppenheimer, Barbie, and more. However, warm weather is also a time for rest and relaxation, so why not enjoy a quiet movie while you watch the movie?

on fireA more gentle approach ends up having heady effects, and our expectations are quickly upended. Storytelling cliches about romance and happy endings? Petzold threw them by the side of the road. His new film begins with two guys driving to a remote vacation home in hopes of getting some work done.

Thomas Schubert is perfect as the narcissistic Leon, an accomplished writer struggling with his next novel. Joining them for the summer is talented photographer Felix (Langston Ubell), whose home will host them. After some car breakdowns, they finally arrive at the residence and meet Felix’s family friend Nadja (Paula Beer), to whom Leon is slowly drawn. Felix’s sexuality lies elsewhere, notably David (Eno Trebs), a male lifeguard who works on a nearby beach. David and Nadja happen to be friends, which is how they met at a vacation home permanently threatened by the aforementioned forest fires.

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friends in the fiery forest

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With four single friends ready to hook up hiding in the woods, one might expect some sort of raunchy shenanigans to ensue. Not really.Instead, we have some thought-provoking conversations at an outdoor picnic table, a glimpse of looming danger on a rooftop, and an analysis of a novel Leon is working on, titled club sandwich for humorous effect.

on fire Slow at times, it may not be for everyone, but Schubert’s transformation as a flamboyant writer will be universally praised. Half the acting is the reaction, and Leon’s facial reactions throughout the movie are invaluable, adding a whole layer of humor to an otherwise serious and ultimately grim story. His constant “why are you like that?” face is totally relatable; at one point, trying to check into a nearby hotel to avoid distractions from his new friends, he was caught making fun of the hotel manager behind his back.

This is just one example of how often Leon hates himself, and it’s mostly conveyed through action and dialogue – impressive in itself. On top of that, viewers are sure to identify with Leon’s persistent bad habit of just talking about his need for work, rather than actually doing it.

Related: The Best International Language Films of 2022

Nature’s Torch to Society

catch fire movie 2023
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What would you do in the face of danger – maybe transform into Tom Cruise or Will Smith to save the world? Maybe not.another strong point on fire The protagonists react more realistically as the forest fire approaches them with alarming speed. In this climactic third act, the old saying “it’s raining, it’s pouring” really comes to mind.

Leon’s publisher Helmut (Matthias Brandt) is in town to review club sandwich Join Leon as disaster strikes in many ways. Helmut got sick at this inopportune time, so they had to take him to the hospital. A big-budget Hollywood movie would undoubtedly throw in some dramatic musical work to try and heighten the drama. Instead, director Petzold lets the images convey the drama without having to rely on additional music. Well done sir!

Ultimately, one of the couples tragically died in a forest fire. We won’t reveal who, but the moment of discovering their charred bodies entangled with each other is shocking and will bring you to tears.A moment reminiscent of the scene foreshadowed at the beginning of Kelly Reichardt’s 2019 masterpiece first cowwhen two human skeletons were found, they appeared to be holding hands.

comprehensive, on fire The beautiful images of the beach and wilderness throughout the story, as well as the related dialogues between the four people talking about life, romance, professional struggle and other topics, all enhance the tension of the story.Paula Beer is superb as Nadja; she previously worked with Petzold on award-winning productions Wendina. We can’t wait to see what happens next for the two of them.

From Janus Films and Sideshow, on fire Now in theaters.

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