Alles ist gut Netflix  Review – Bold and Scarred
After the series of bad choices like unimaginative sex comedy ‘Oh, Ramona!’, muddled Korean supernatural horror ‘Svaha: The Sixth Finger’, unfunny and inconsistent ‘Chopsticks’ and a phoney throwback to 80s in ‘Rim of the World’, Netflix finally finds the movie that it should be proud of. ‘Alles ist Gut’ aka ‘All Good’/’All is well’ is artfully restrained, incredibly acted and masterfully edited. The film-maker from East Berlin, Eva Trobisch weaves a mature narrative having psychological complexity that would leave its audience distressed. And it is her debut feature film.
Janne (Aenne Schwarz) is in a live-in relationship with her boyfriend Piet (Andreas Doehler). They run a publishing house that went bankrupt, and now facing a financial crisis. With the help of family friends, they found a home in the countryside where they plan to move in after renovation. Janne on her school reunion runs into an old friend Robert (Tilo Nest) who offers a job to Janne. At the same time, she meets Robert’s brother-in-law, Martin (Hans Loew), who happens to be attending the same reunion. Martin plans to crash at Janne’s place after heavy intoxication.
What starts off as a flirt turns into forceful make out leading to an emotionally detached and soulless rape scene. The rape scenes in the movie are often violent and disconcerting, projecting the rapist as a monster. Recall Monca Belluci’s 10-mins brutal and skin crawling underground rape scene in Gasper Noe’s ‘Irréversible.’ What Trobisch does with it is exactly opposite and gives a masterclass in rape scenes. Janne is frozen, she is silent. She couldn’t comprehend what’s happening with her. Feeling overpowered, dejected and hopeless, she gives in physically with no sign of an emotional scar. Trobisch dislodges all the cliches and stereotypes surrounding the horrendous event. Janne numb emotional pulse offers a platform for Trobisch to construct a layered drama probing deep into psychological conundrum around it.
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Janne refuses to admit herself as a victim. She wants to move on and forget the traumatic event as if it never happened. Even when she tries to confess to her mother, she flinches for a moment and buries it deep down. Janne takes up a job at Robert’s office, that means a frequent encounter with Martin. All the bottled up emotions resurface to discomfort her. Her unpleasantness is never apparent. She still feels in control while, in reality, things are crumbling in her personal space. The repercussion is never explicitly acknowledged or confessed to anyone, but we know from where Janne is coming.
Trobisch uses observational language to examine Janne. Her approach on the complex subject is intimate and elementary, hence it strikes much deeper in the conscience of the audience. ‘Alles ist Gut’ is a portrait of a strong woman brought to quivering by a tumble of emotions, from outrage and shame to anger, that is left with nowhere to go. We stay, clenched with her, to the last.