A delicious comedy exposing the tit-for-tat that sees violence perpetuate, Josef Hader’s Wild Mouse is an uproarious plea for emotional honesty.
A History Of Violenceby Mark Wilshin
CAUTION: Here be spoilers
It’s not just a circle of violence that’s vicious. It’s also the behaviours that perpetuate it. And it’s this recurring cycle of insult and revenge that Josef Hader’s Wilde Maus most brutally exposes. Written, directed and starring Josef Hader, the comedian’s debut film follows the plight of professional music critic Dr Georg Endl, after he’s sacked by his boss from the newspaper he works at and commanded by his wife Johanna (Pia Hierzegger) to drop what he’s doing to get home and impregnate her; she’s at the peak of her ovulation cycle.
But Wilde Maus isn’t just another story of a middle-aged man in crisis. But rather a breaking down of attitudes, as Georg befriends Erich (Georg Friedrich), a mechanic from a different social class, and who, it turns out, bullied him at school, but who now becomes his only friend. Punctuated with news reports of terrorism, Wilde Maus attempts to break down the walls of rivalry and hatred by confronting the demons within. And after a war of terror on his nemesis, his ex-boss Waller (Jörg Hartmann), starting with a vengeful key-scratching of his convertible and culminating in pointing a gun at his head, the rivals end up punching each other in the snow until one begs for peace, playground style.
These walls however aren’t just built up between men. There’s also a wall between Georg and his wife, buried deep beneath their tolerance and respect of each other. So it’s not until they let rip at each other in the car outside their home that they’re finally able to understand why their other half behaves the way they do. Witty, clever and intricately plotted, Wilde Maus is an exquisite comedy. A feelgood Falling Down for an older and wiser Generation X, undercut and overwhelmed by the millennial new wave.
Wild Mouse is now showing at the 67th Berlin Film Festival