Late this past January, independent movie studio Cohen Media Group released the German import The People vs. Fritz Bauer on DVD and Blu-ray. The movie, which was originally released by Zero One Film internationally in 2015, was released domestically on DVD and Blu-ray this past January courtesy of Cohen Media Group. On the surface, this movie is just another entry into an already overly crowded field of movies based on actual events. This includes both the mainstream and independent realm. Even with that in mind, it actually stands out in that field. That is due in part to the story at the center of this movie. This will be discussed shortly. The work of the movie’s cast is just as important to note as its story. It will be discussed later. The movie’s bonus material rounds out its most important elements. Each element is important in its own right to the movie’s presentation. All things considered, they make this movie based on actual events a work that deserves a positive verdict from true cinephiles everywhere.
Cohen Media Group’s recent domestic home release of The People vs. Fritz Bauer is a presentation that deserves a positive verdict from true cinephiles everywhere. That is due in part to the story at the center of this work. The story is based on actual events, as already noted. It also is hardly the first movie to ever be raised from the era of WWII. So that leaves the question what set it apart from other works of its ilk. The answer is that it presents a part of Fritz Bauer’s life—his more personal, private life—that few movies have ever told. This is explained in the movie’s bonus making of featurette, and will be discussed later. It is only one part of what makes the story stand out, too. Audiences will note that this story doesn’t have the overly melodramatic mood established in its American counterparts that have been churned out ever since Hollywood’s golden age. Yes, even those movies are suspect for their level of melodrama. That is not to say that this movie doesn’t have its own level of melodrama. But it is nowhere near the level included in so many American movies centered on WWII. Now whether or not it overly embellishes Bauer’s efforts to capture Eichmann this critic is ashamed to say is unknown. Odds are though, there likely is some over embellishment. That is just the norm of movies based on actual events. One can only hope that writer/director Lars Kraume and co-writer Olivier Guez didn’t let that embellishment become too prevalent. That aside, the deep examination of Bauer’s personal life and his drive to capture Eichmann is reason enough for audiences to watch this German-language movie. It is just one of the reasons that cinephiles should see this imported WWII story. The work of the movie’s cast is just as important to note as the story in examining its overall presentation.
The story at the center of The People vs. Fritz Bauer is in itself plenty of reason for true cinephiles to watch this imported WWII-centered movie. It is just one of the reasons that it is worth the watch. The work of the movie’s cast is just as worth mentioning as the movie’s story. Burghart KlauBner leads the way in every sense of the phrase as the movie’s title character. His portrayal of Bauer will keep audiences rapt throughout the course of the story’s nearly two-hour run time. That is proven in his interactions with co-star Ronald Zehrfeld and even in his solo time on screen. From the pair’s more lighthearted moments to the more tense times, Klaubner and Zherfeld’s interactions in themselves will keep audiences engaged from beginning to end. KlauBner’s handling of Bauer’s fear when he is being harassed by unseen Nazi sympathizers is just as impressive. He makes the tension in those scenes fully believable. This makes those moments just as impressive as his moments on screen with Zehrfeld. The end result of KlauBner’s work in his solo and split scenes proves why his performance overall is just as important to note in examining this movie as its story. Of course Zehrfeld’s performance, while far less prominent, is still impressive in its own right. He will keep audiences just as engaged as KlauBner as he struggles with his own personal demons, which will not be revealed here. Keeping all of this in mind, KlauBner and Zehrfeld’s performance show throughout the movie why their work is just as important to this movie’s presentation as that of the movie’s writing team. It still is not the last element worth noting in examining the movie’s presentation. The bonus material included with the movie in its home release is just as important to note as the already noted elements.
The work of The People vs. Fritz Bauer’s writing team and that of its main cast are both key elements to discuss in examining the movie’s overall presentation. That is because of the depth that each element adds to the movie’s overall presentation. They are not its only important elements. The bonus material that is included with the movie in its recent domestic home release is just as important to note as the previously discussed elements. The bonus “making of” featurette is an important extra because it provides a certain back story to the movie that adds to audiences’ appreciation of the story. That is because it explains this side of Bauer’s story has rarely if ever been told. The deleted scenes add even more depth because they, like so many movies both mainstream and indie, show how much was gained and lost through each one. Some scenes, in this critic’s view, should have been kept. Others meanwhile were justifiably left out. The whole of those scenes joins with the bonus “making of” featurette to make the movie even more surprisingly entertaining. When the movie’s bonus commentary is set alongside those elements, all three bonuses combine to put the finishing touch on the movie’s presentation. That is not to say that the movie’s cinematography, shooting locations, and costume and makeup staff are not to be commended. They deserve their own mentions, too. They are worth noting in discussions about the movie’s aesthetic value. When that discussion is joined with the already noted discussions, the whole of those discussions shows why this German imported WWII story deserves a positive verdict.
Cohen Media Group’s domestic home release of The People vs. Fritz Bauer is a presentation that fully deserves a positive verdict from cinephiles and critics alike. That is due to its story, which despite being another work based on actual events, doesn’t allow itself to become the overly melodramatic events that so many of its counterparts past and present have proven to be. It also presents a side of Bauer’s story that has rarely, if ever, been told. The work of the movie’s main cast plays into the movie’s presentation just as much as that of the movie’s writing team. The extensive bonus material included with the movie’s recent domestic home release rounds out its most important elements, but is hardly its last element worth noting. Those behind the lens, the costumes and makeup and even shooting location choices are deserving of credit, too. Each element is clearly important in its own right to the movie’s whole. All things considered, The People vs. Fritz Bauer proves to be a work that, once more, fully deserves a positive verdict from critic and cinephiles alike. It is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from Cohen Media Group is available online now at:
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