Frank Haze   |    Friday, der 16. March 2018

A love story off the hook.

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HARD & UGLY follows a young man, who at first timidly, later stubbornly fights his sadness. He stumbles through the film as if through a house of mirrors. He is dismissed at short notice and for obvious superficial reasons. He seems desperate, and hesitantly and indecisively decides to end his life. That he is being called by a representative of life insurance companies while he tries to climb bearishly over a bridge balustrade is perhaps a bit clumsy, but works as a good joke due to the good cinematic staging.

At the last moment, however, he is rescued by a woman who prevents him from trying to kill himself. This is how this unique and sadly beautiful love story begins. Because his lifesaver is in no way better off, and she too is struggling with life turbulences. Is the love affair’s going to work out? Is the traffic light circuit really only really good in one direction, as the life-saver says?

You’re not quite sure if all the acting and stylistic artifacts are really intended that way, but that’s not bad, because life often consists of such unrealistic artifacts, but it’s not all beer and skittles, and most of it makes sense for those who submit to gullible observation.

I had a lot of fun with the film, not only because of its sometimes very quaint and yet incredibly apt comedy, but also because the credible and authentic manner of the actors creates a nice interpersonal film experience. Because despite or perhaps precisely because of animated and in contrast to the rest of the film colorful transition scenes, and despite highly bizarre dream scenes, a kind of mirror emerges, which can offer the willing viewer access to himself. This approach is not always easy to find, but a certain willingness to melancholy can help. In general, the film manages very well to exaggerate sad moments in such a way that they become aptly funny and yet only more authentic.

I refuse any further criticism which, although, under technical circumstances certainly justified, would make it more difficult for those very willing viewers who want to be put into history in good faith to do so. In this respect, any further sentence that goes beyond the first of this review can be safely ignored as long as you remember that you should watch this film.

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