Das Weisse Rausche (2001)

Run Time - 109 min.  |   Countries - Germany   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Hans Weingartner's The White Sound is a well-made and intimate drama about one young man's struggle with schizophrenia. Weingartner's extensive research into the subject matter pays off with a film that rings true. Ron Howard's A Beautiful Mind dealt with similar subject matter, but Weingartner takes a more naturalistic approach in portraying the mysterious and tragic mental condition. Daniel Bruehl's performance as Lukas is pivotal to the film. As Lukas slips in and out of lucidity, hearing voices and growing suspicious of all those around him, Bruehl strikes just the right notes. It's a demanding role, traversing the comic and the tragic, sometimes within the same moment, and the young actor handles it with aplomb. Weingartner and Bruehl manage to make Lukas sympathetic in his plight, even when his behavior becomes dangerously unhinged. The film doesn't offer any easy solutions for Lukas. His sister, Kati (Anabelle Lachatte, who is also very good), is ill-prepared to care for him. When he begins taking medication and begins working at a simple job, it's still clear that his grasp on sanity is tenuous, and in a darkly comic touch, Weingartner has poor Lukas employed at a mannequin factory, cutting the heads and limbs off of dummies. That unease -- that feeling of teetering on the precipice -- is perfectly captured by the film. The White Sound explores the dark corners of the human mind with commendable emotional honesty.