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(IndieKino Mag) Review: The Black Square


Whimsical ensemble thriller

Forger Vincent and the somewhat naive Nils steal Malevich's “The Black Square” and flee on a cruise ship. Quirky ensemble thriller with a touch of Wes Anderson.

Kazimir Malevich's painting “The Black Square” shows exactly what is written in the title: a black square. The art of getting rid of objects was a sensation in 1915, if not a revolution. But anyone who expects an art-historical documentary is wrong. In his feature film debut, director Peter Meister sends two semi-professional art thieves on the prowl. In the comedy, forger Vincent and the somewhat naive Nils steal “The Black Square” and flee on a cruise ship. But the two are not the only ones interested in the work of art on board. Soon the painting is gone and the forgeries that Vincent makes also go from hand to hand. Next to the art agent Martha, who wants the picture for a rich Russian, a policeman is chasing a greedy gigolo and finally the board boss after the picture. That leads to some tangles, mix-ups and one or the other seduction.

Peter Meister combines an ensemble thriller with the bizarre atmosphere of Wes Anderson. The dusty pomp of the ship, the color mood, the costumes. The great question of art about originality - Malevich himself made the picture several times. Everything was successful and the coherent line-up with Sandra Hüller as Martha, Bernhard Schütz as Vincent and Jacob Matschenz as Nils is fun. When the vulnerable artist breaks out of the hardened forger, the cultivated Martha mutates into an ice-cold professional killer or the insecure Nils finds himself as an Elvis impersonator, the game is full of comedy. Unfortunately, in the increasing absurdity of the story, the characters lose against some of the Zote and the rapid gag shelling. A little less would have been good. As Malevich already showed.

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