Saturday, September 6, 2014

Releases September 5th, 2014 (Limited)
1 hr 49 mins
Not Rated
Comedy, Drama

Director: David Wnendt

Carla Juri as Helen Memel
Christoph Letkowski as Robin
Marlen Kruse as Corinna
Meret Becker as Helen's mother
Axel Milberg as Helen's father
Edgar Selge as Dr. Notz
Peri Baumeister as Schwester Valerie

Review by Stephen M.

Wetlands, based on a novel of the same name by author Charlotte Roche, is a German film that will make you both squeamish and blush at the same time.  The lead Helen, played brilliantly by Carla Juri, has not have what you would call a typical childhood. With their parents divorcing at a young age, the mother showing a lot of "tough love" and the father mostly absent, you can't blame her for turning out the way she did.

What we learn about Helen within the first 15 minutes is that she is not the most hygienic person in the world and she's okay with that.  She also loves to explore her sexual side, whether it be with guys, or vegetables.  Her favorite of course being the carrot.  When a shaving accident lands her in the hospital, we see through a series of flashbacks of how she got to be the way she is and why she longs for her parents to be reunited even at her own expense.  While the movie may seem long, and it is, with countless scenes of what we would consider perhaps gross.  The Director weaves all of these moments beautifully to drive home a point of freedom in one's self, beauty in the grotesque, and hope in a seemingly downward spiral.

The film is about the lead Helen and her exploration of life as a young adult and her relationship with her separated parents.  Carla is amazing in this unabashed role where most of her body is prodded and left for display.  Her charisma on the screen with her youthful raw pretty looks helps to draw you in to her world as much as her parents also well acted, in their hands off approach to parenting.  The movie has several scenes that will move you either to laughter or tears and even in shock.  It's hard to image a film like this shown in the U.S. without a NC-17 rating given some of its scenes.


Overall, I would recommend the film, but the film with its perverse character and heavy material may not be suitable for all.  From oral sex, to drug use and even jizzing on a pizza, just a few examples, the morality of the movie is quite low.  But the film has to be praised for its brutal honesty and hard look of femininity in a young lady growing up in a less than ideal nourishing environment.  The acting is great, the movie could have been a bit shorter, but overall, worth watching.


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