Or maybe Hermine Huntgeburth's "Tom Sawyer" is especially not for these as they may be disappointed with how it was adapted if they really like the story. I'm not familiar with the source material, so I can't really say. The director is among Germany's most famous female directors and maybe you could even cut the "female". She directed children films before ("Bibi Blocksberg"), but also movies aimed at young adults and grown-up such as "Neue Vahr Süd" (which won the prestigious Grimme Award) or Theodor Fontane's "Effi Briest". Unfortunately Tom Sawyer is a definite contender for her weakest film. The cast is packed with experienced German actors (Makatsch, Król, Fürmann, Lohmeyer,Schönemann...), but none of these really get a chance to display their talent here. Most of their characters are uninteresting caricatures that don't require much range. Now this could be forgiven, if the boy who plays Tom Sawyer managed to carry the film from start to finish, but that's not really the case either. Actually, the one who plays Huck Finn is the one I found more interesting to watch. He got his own film one year later, also directed by Huntgeburth and it's very much superior to this one here. Benno Fürmann is plays the main villain here, a ruthless Indian who the children witness kill another man in cold blood and put the blame on an innocent. For the rest of the film, he's on the hunt for the kids and there's also a gold treasure involved. I'm not exactly sure if Fürmann gives a good performance here or if he's just looking scary and that's it, but I believe the film would have been worse without him. However, one big problem of this film has indirectly to do with him. The way his actions were written by Sascha Arango really hurt the final result. There's people repeatedly stabbed, we see children being beaten by their parents and teachers, we see a corpse being dug out at a cemetery, we see a man falling to death, we see a man almost being hung... I usually think people shouldn't be too sensitive about what they show their children, but this here is simply too much and I believe no child with the age of the child actors here should watch this movie because of the aforementioned explicit scenes and cruelty. That would be no problem if the film was good enough for grown-up audiences, but the adaptation of Twain's story is just not convincing enough. There were actually a couple scenes I liked, such as the fence painting scene or also the courtroom scene, but it's simply not enough to make me look past several plot holes. For example when Tom appears at his own funeral and his mom is so happy he's alive and yet he manages to escape right again and every single time he manages he somehow ends up running into Indianer Joe? No way. Also the film is rather long for a kids movie with about 110 minutes and they definitely could have cut it down to 90 minutes without hurting the story. On the contrary, they may have even improved it if they had done without certain insignificant scenes. All in all, I can't recommend the film. It's clearly inferior to its sequel (which includes a great villain performance from August Diehl) and elaborates nicely on the random n*gger worker references thrown in here (and thus teaches a pretty good lesson that this one lacks completely) and also to films like the Hanni&Nanni movies, the girls equivalent of known children literature adaptations. German children films are excellent in quality and quantity these days, probably better than in almost any other country, but this is one of the weaker choices and I'd rather recommend people to watch one of the many one-hour-max versions of the Grimm fairy tales that were shot for television in recent years.
Adventure / Family
Adventure / Family
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Tom Sawyer and his pal Huckleberry Finn have great adventures on the Mississippi River, pretending to be pirates, attending their own funeral and witnessing a murder.
August 4, 2020