the-theory-of-everything-2023-die-theorie-von-allem-timm-kroger-recensione-review-kritik

THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING

      Comments Off on THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian) Deutsch (German)

by Timm Kröger

grade: 8

In The Theory of Everything the environments themselves play a central role. Environments in which one gets lost, in which people mysteriously disappear, in which corpses are found brutally murdered. Environments that are further enhanced by a perfect and visually captivating cinematography, which well exploits the contrasts between black and white and light and shadow, faithfully following the canons of Expressionism. In competition at the 80th Venice Film Festival.

Mysteries in the Alps

Is our universe the only universe that exists or are there, in reality, many other parallel universes that we will probably never know about? The multiverse, as we know, has enjoyed and is enjoying, especially in recent years, great success in film (and beyond). Suffice it to mention, just to give one example, the award-winning feature film Everything Everywhere Alla at Once (Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan, 2022). Could the Venice Film Festival therefore ‘forget’ such a complex and fascinating topic? Absolutely not. And indeed, here it is in the running for the Golden Lion at the 80th Venice Film Festival The Theory of Everything, a real gem directed by German director, screenwriter and director of photography Timm Kröger, and the result of a co-production between Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

The multiverse. Schrödinger’s Cat paradox. New, bizarre theories. Mysterious murders and disappearances in the Swiss Alps. An impossible love. The cinema of the present meets the cinema of the past, creating a new, beautiful harmony. The Theory of Everything is all of this, and in leading us by the hand into not one, but many worlds that are disturbing and fascinating at the same time, it enraptures us from the very first frames.

Young physics student Johannes Leinert (played by Jan Bülow) is working on his doctoral thesis. His supervisor (Hanns Zischler), however, continually contests his theories. One day, the two of them leave for a conference in the Alps, where a well-known Iranian physicist is expected to present his groundbreaking theory of quantum mechanics, the ‘theory of everything’. He will, however, arrive at the conference a few days late and all the guests, meanwhile, spend their days skiing or attending gala dinners at the hotel where they are staying. The mysterious murder of a German physicist, an encounter with charming pianist Karin (Olivia Ross) and mysterious clouds in the sky will make everything take an unexpected turn.

The Theory of Everything, therefore, shows us everything exclusively from Johannes’ point of view. And so, just as with him, we too feel confused, bewildered, no longer knowing what to believe. Timm Kröger, for his part, skilfully plays with all the elements involved, giving life to a thriller that makes its magnetic leading actors out of environments that are sometimes claustrophobic (such as a hotel room or a cave in the mountains), sometimes that almost convey a sense of agoraphobia (as in the case of vast expanses of snow).

Yes, because, in fact, in The Theory of Everything it is the environments themselves that play a central role. Environments in which one gets lost, in which people disappear mysteriously, in which corpses are found brutally murdered. Environments that are further enhanced by a perfect and visually captivating cinematography, which well exploits the contrasts between black and white and light and shadow, faithfully following the canons of Expressionism.

But it is not only Expressionism that is involved in this important film by Timm Kröger. The director, in fact, has drawn on the cinema of Alfred Hitchcock, but also of David Lynch and the American B-movies of the 1950s and 1960s, in order to create something totally new and personal, topical, but which constantly looks back to the past, making certain faults have their echoes in the present. Mysterious characters return from the past and seem to know everything about the future. A moving piano melody is able to evoke what we do not expect. The war, over for many years now, has left deep scars in all of us. Similar to what happens to the protagonist, we too experience the most diverse emotions while watching The Theory of Everything. Is this not, then, one of the main tasks of Cinema itself? Timm Kröger seems to have understood this very well.

Original title: Die Theorie von Allem
Directed by: Timm Kröger
Country/year: Germany, Austria, Switzerland / 2023
Running time: 118’
Genre: thriller
Cast: Jan Bülow, Olivia Ross, Hanns Zischler, Gottfried Breitfuss, David Bennent, Philippe Graber, Imogen Kogge, Emanuel Waldburg-Zeil, Vivienne Bayley, Ladina von Frisching, Dirk Böhling, Marie Goyette, Paul Wolff-Plottegg, Peter Hottinger, Dana Herfurth, Joey Zimmermann, Eva Maria Jost, Jonathan Wirtz
Screenplay: Roderick Warich, Timm Kröger
Cinematography: Roland Stuprich
Produced by: Ma.ja.de Filmproduktion, The Barricades, Panama Film

Info: the page of The Theory of Everything on iMDb; the page of The Theory of Everything on the website of the Österreichisches Filminstitut; the page of The Theory of Everything on the website of the Biennale