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Coconut Hero

Mike lives in a small Canadian Town. His life is by no means catastrophic but still he wants call it quits. When a tumor is discovered in his brain he is relieved – at first.

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Preparing for a suicide can be very funny – especially if the macabre is portrayed so laconically like in COCONUT HERO. One day Mike Tyson– not to be mistaken for the boxer! – wakes up in a hospital. His attempt failed to his dismay. When we meet his mother, the reason for his state becomes all the clearer – he does not have his own life. She sticks her nose into everything and never listens to him. The father split 15 years ago. Fellow students bully him because of his name. The priest only speaks in platitudes. Yet his plan might come to fruition – after some earnest praying Mike discovers he has a tumor in his brain. Mike is happy because death can’t come soon enough. The 16 year old comes to peace with living as the film progresses, a predictable development in a coming-of-age film such as this. Yet director Florian Cossen manages to steer away from all the clichés. Mike meets Miranda – and doesn’t want anything romantic. His dad reappears – and doesn’t know how to cope with Mike. When Mike and the girl do get closer in the film’s climax – there is no kiss but rather a comforting and understanding hug.

Cossen manages to achieve something that is rare in German cinema: an accomplished balancing act between comedy and tragedy. It’s no wonder: Cossen shot it in Northern Ontario and manages to capture some of that HAROLD AND MAUDE magic. COCONUT HERO is a small masterpiece where everything gels: the dialogue, the characters, the details, and the unexpected surprises.

Harald Mühlbeyer

Translation: Elinor Lewy

Credits

Deutschland 2015, 97 min
Genre: Tragicomedy
Director: Florian Cossen
Author: Elena von Saucken, Daniel Schachter
DOP: Brendan Steacy
Montage: Philipp Thomas
Music: Matthias Klein
Distributor: Majestic Filmverleih
Cast: Sebastian Schipper, Udo Kier, Krista Bridges, Alex Ozerov, Bea Santos, Jim Annan
FSK: 12
Release: 13.08.2015

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