The Tin Drum (1979)

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The Tin Drum Movie Review

The Tin Drum is a 1979 German historical drama film directed by Volker Schlondorff. It is an undeserved, very frustrating Oscar winner.

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Look, if you please, at this extraordinary potato…

this swelling, luxuriant flesh, forever conceiving new shapes…

and yet so chaste. I love a potato, because it speaks to me

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The Tin Drum Movie Review

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So a boy growing during WWII is constantly drumming on his tin drum and doesn’t want to grow up. That is the entire story here which lasts for almost three hours. You can say that it is about childhood versus the evils of humanity but honestly the film felt bland and hollow to me. It was a waste of time with in my opinion no message or anti-war statements. I totally agree with Roger Ebert’s review of this film as he sums it up so well why it’s weak.

The characters are all very forgettable and the acting is not all that great. Oskar Matzerah is one of the worst protagonists in all of German cinema. He is the center of this film and the one who should make you feel something, but because he is so unlikable and just a brat overall I did not feel any sympathy toward him at all. Thus the film was ruined because of him.

The Tin Drum has its good scenes such as the ending and especially the beginning with the filming of the birth being very interesting and original. The cinematography is quite good as is the score. The film is well made for the most part, but weakly directed by Volker Schlondorff and very weakly scripted with annoying dialogue too.

There is one scene here that takes the cake as the most horrible one and that is its sex scene between Oskar and a girl. Not only is the scene extremely uncomfortable and I do get why some called it child pornography, but it is also incredibly unrealistic and simply stupid as children do not have sexual urges at all.

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The Tin Drum Movie Review

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So the film definitely isn’t terrible and is only just mediocre. However, it is too weird for the sake of being weird, metaphorical but not really metaphorical and lacking any strong emotion and characters to make it worthwhile the effort. It got an Oscar and it is another really bad decision from the Academy during this category in the seventies.

The Tin Drum has its interesting scenes and is certainly well made. However, this is still such a mediocre movie with an uninteresting story stretched to unnecessarily long runtime, a very unlikable and annoying protagonist in Oskar and one simply horrible, uncomfortable and ridiculous sex scene. I entirely agree with Roger Ebert’s assessment of this mediocrity.

My Rating – 2.5

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Posted in 1970s, 1979, FILM DECADES, Foreign, German, Historical, MOVIE REVIEWS and tagged , , , , , , .

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