Ballon is a Deflated Escape from Oppression

It’s a shame that a movie based on actual events in which a pair of families living in oppression in the German Democratic Republic who decide to make their escape via a balloon would wind up being so un-involving. Even the plight of the von Trapps in pay to write cheap college essay on presidential elections generic viagra that works how to buy viagra uk enter site example of photo essay go to link prednisone use for dogs source url my dream school essay in hindi follow site essay question layout how many milligrams of viagra to take source link viagra ankle swelling viagra video demonstration anthropology essay example go to site here go here get link go to site flowers for algernon short story essay questions viagra kamagra cialis levitra cost levitra canada thesis doctoral degree persuasive ideas for an essay here The Sound of Music, a musical so light and feathery you fear it might escape you at any time, feels more authentic, and their final scene singing Edelweiss resonates even now as a tribute to victory against oppression. Had this movie had a stronger hand — one well versed in the genre of suspense — perhaps Ballon would have fared better and not wind up deflated and forlorn.

As it is, the story of the Wetzels and the Strelzyk families, friends living near the border with West Germany evolves at a rather formulaic pace. We see them going through the motions while a neighbor, Erik Hausmann (Ronald Kukulies) keeps friendly tabs on the comings and goings of the Stryzeks. It’s never really seen as though the families are in great danger — yes, they live in a police state complete with ultra surveillance and the ever-present Stasi — but there isn’t enough to really send the message that they don’t really belong in such a state of repression. However, Herbig flips the pages almost in a perfunctory way, advancing the story of the German escape with detachment, never really giving into paranoia or real suspense. The first attempt which only involves the Strelzyzk family goes wrong, landing them barely within the border where Doris Strelzyk loses her prescription medication. It sets off an investigation led by Oberstleutnant Seidel (Thomas Krestchmann) to find out who exacly is attempting escape.

The stakes become higher, and a sense of urgency begins to permeate both families as an arrest is imminent. Even then, it seems that Herbig decides to keep the tension at bare minimum. Instead, Herbig creates some artificial (and sorely overdone) drama by having one of the younger Wetzels make a rather obvious disclosure and the Strelzyk son develop a romance with the Hausmann daughter, which begs the question, how careless could these people really be? At least, in the end, Ballon delivers, but it does so in a manner that really leaves you wishing for more, happy that the families are now safe, but wondering what was the fuss all about.

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