German director Jan Ole Gerster’s droll and energetic feature debut “A Coffee in Berlin” narrates a day in the life of Niko, a twentysomething college dropout who’s able to live without a care in the world, apparently.
Niko (played by a Tom Schilling who bears a strange resemblance to James McAvoy) lives for the moment as he breezes through the streets of Berlin, observing everyone around him with an insatiable curiosity and oblivious to his growing status as an outsider.
Then on one fateful day, through a series of absurdly-amusing encounters, everything changes: his girlfriend rebuffs him, his father cuts off his allowance and a strange psychiatrist dubiously confirms his emotionally imbalanced state.
Meanwhile, a former classmate insists she bears no hard feelings toward him for his grade-school tauntsbut it becomes increasingly clear that she has some unfinished business with him. Unable to ignore the consequences of his passivity any longer, Niko finally concludes that he has to engage with life.
Ole Gerster is a craftsman of pitch-perfect comedic timing, so laughter is pretty much assured throughout this charming tale.
Shot in black and white and enriched with a snappy jazz soundtrack, this slacker dramedy is a love letter to Berlin and the Generation Y experience.
June 13th limited release
FIND OUT more by visiting the film’s site