This movie could have been really awesome. There’s much too little said about homosexuals in WW II and this film started talking about it. Problems with neonazis in Austria are often downplayed. This was a good opportunity to talk about it and show it but the film gets caught up in the ridiculousness and fails to say anything meaningful.
Axel is a handsome but troubled sixteen-year-old boy who comes from a broken home, has trouble connecting with his peers and dulls his anxieties with marijuana. Axel has fallen in with a neo-Nazi gang who give him the respect he craves, but their leader, demands proof of Axel's commitment and asks him to kill a social worker. Axel does it and while on the run from the police, he hides in a dry cleaning shop and is spotted by the elderly proprietor, Gustav. Gustav takes in the young man and allows him to help out in the shop, but doesn't tell Axel why -- Gustav is gay, and the young man bears a striking resemblance to a boy he loved when he was a teenager but inadvertently betrayed to the Nazis during World War II. When Lippi and his gang discover Axel has made friends with a homosexual, they're angry that he's gone against their principles, and Axel is caught between two different worlds in which he isn't sure he belongs. We also have Christina, the only social contact that Gustav has to the outside world who is undergoing sexual change. Her story gets prominent space in the film but has pretty much nothing to do with the basic plot of the film.
The story I felt was very over the top but I have absolutely no clue of what it is like in AUstria, so it will be difficult for me to actually make a comment on that. The story also seemed disjointed at various places. It was never clear whether Axel was with Gustav because his gang asked him to be with him or because he really wanted to. Was Gustav just protective about the boy or was he also sexually attracted to him? Acting wise Axel was ok but others were just ok. Christina looked over the top. I am not too sure what to make of all the aggression, violence, rape like sex that the members of neo-nazi gang indulge in. All this seemed unreal to me but I am not sure.
As per my very personal opinion, this film was full of flaws and does neither entertain you nor hold your attention. (2.5/10)
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