Toni Erdmann: A bizarre film but oddly relatable in many ways

Whether it is a man masturbating onto cake or dressing up as a Bulgarian spirit Toni Erdmann does not fail to keep you hooked from start to finish.

After the death of his dog practical joker Winfried (Peter Simonischek) decides to pay a visit to his extremely career driven daughter Ines (Sandra Huller) who he does not see much.

Ines, who is working on an important project as a corporate strategist in Bucharest, begins to grow annoyed by her father’s pranks and his little jabs at her routine lifestyle making Winfried decide to return back to Germany.

Disguised in a tacky suit, weird wig and false teeth Winfried returns to Bucharest as Toni Erdmann, his smooth-talking alter ego.

Toni barges into Ines’ life but she meets the challenge. The harder they push the closer they become and slowly she begins to understand that her father might deserve a place in her life.

Written and directed by award-winner Maren Ade the film tackles some deep themes including the estranged relationship between father and daughter but manages to capture the humour in serious topics.

Huller’s performance of Ines is relatable. Whether or not you are estranged from your parents, no matter how old you are parents will always embarrass you.

Huller managed the capture this perfectly. Although not everything she does is deemed so kind it is hard not to relate to her in some way.

At the beginning of the film you expect her to be some stuck up career driven woman when as the narrative continues it is revealed – through one particular scene – that she is like that to impress the men at her job.

She is stuck in a man’s world and despite initially disliking the character you will find yourself feeling sorry for her.

Obviously the star of the production is Simonischek. From the very beginning you will begin to understand his humorous take on life such as painting his face in a skull design and telling people he is going to a care home.

Both Simonischek and Huller worked great together and one in particular scene where they play and sing Whitney Houston’s classic The Greatest Love of All will leave you humming the tune.

With the actors jumping from German to English emphasises the pure talent the two main actors and the rest of the cast has.

With an ambiguous ending the film will leave you asking questions but receiving no answers but nevertheless Toni Erdmann is a brilliant production.

After watching you will want to call your parents without a doubt. It is an oddly satisfying film and is worth a watch.


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