the formidable film of a Marvel villain

the formidable film of a Marvel villain

As many as twenty-two leading or supporting actors, all recognizable to the average viewer, from the Marvel Cinematic Universe have directed one or more feature films. It is the bug of creation or narrative, of being at the forefront of the artistic hustle and bustle in which they have participated on numerous occasions in front of the cameras, to see what it feels like and how they are doing. Some had already experienced it before, but the next door (2021) is new to Daniel Bruhl.

This Spanish-German born in Barcelona forty-four years ago was chosen to get into the skin of the Baron Helmut Zemothe villain of Captain America: Civil War (2016), a role he has only repeated in the miniseries Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2021) so far, but with an interesting antihero twist. The one he has too, but without his playful darkness, the Daniel Weltz he embodies in his notable first film, with which he does not shy away from risk.

Although the script is signed by another namesake, the novelist Daniel Kehlmann, the leading role of next door seems made for himbecause it is about a famous actor with an orderly, methodical, apparently responsible life and with a maniacal point that they suggest to us with prudent subtlety at the beginning, who is preparing to take a flight from Berlin to London with the purpose of appearing in a auditioning for, oh, a superhero movie like the Marvel ones.

Daniel Brühl and a fearsome parishioner in ‘The door next door’

Warner Bros.

With the intervention of the impertinent Bruno enters the scene, never better said, an invincible discomfort to which, of course, the spirited Daniel Weltz —or the Marvel fans— is not at all accustomed, and which is effectively transmitted to the public, who are pushed to move in their seats with every verbal blow and to the circumstantial grimaces for each one especially incisive, like an unexpected ax blow. And the unforgiving critics will like this disturbing subject.

You don’t want the veteran Peter Kurthwho puts himself in his shoes with his imposing presence and who coincided with Daniel Brühl in the remembered Goodbye Lenin! (2003), never shut up. He prefers me to continue chattering in that uncrowded Berlin bar, where he spends almost entirely next door, until discovering all the details of his possible animosity for the irritated star. And the twists transform her annoying spiel into something else.

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In this way, if we wanted to continue listening to him, what the words written by Daniel Kehlmann achieve now is that our interest in what comes out of that poisonous mouth it multiplies. And we witness, perhaps astonished, the germ of a painful doubt that we do not know what it will lead to. But with this itching is not enough, and they throw us other twists that relativize it a bit and add certain complications to the emotional situation in which we have been involved.

Wounded egos, disturbing behaviors and sins on stage

next door daniel bruhl marvel
Warner Bros.

the structure of next door brings to mind the dinner of the idiotsFrancis Veber’s colossal comedy (1998), because of that destiny to which one does not get to go because the incredible mess, which is sustained in a great acting duel, makes it matter a damn. And between wounded egos, disturbing behaviors and sins that are exposed to the light of day, there are moments of uncertainty in which to decide what to think of the figure of Daniel Brühl and Peter Kurth’s deuteragonist.

The first offers us a serene but detailed planning, with a very nice theatrical bouquet both in it and in the libretto; and not only because it is developed in a single place. He avoids the ever-present threat in proposals like this of a lazy composition, devoid of ingenuity or, at the very least, of a true audiovisual perspective. One of those that end up embarrassingly falling off the cliff into the languishing, the moth-eaten or the inappropriate of the seventh art.

The minimalist and absent soundtrack by Moritz Friedrich and Jakob Grunert affects its scenic spirit. So, in short, we can put it without fuss in the sack of a wild god (2011) or the two versions of the boys in the band (1970, 2020), which it almost outshines. But by no means in the The footprint (1972) or The method (2005), which are big words. And yet next door absorbs more than the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Geez with Daniel Brühl.