Audi German Film Festival Review: Colours in the Dark [Satte Farben vor Schwarz] (2010)

1 Apr











By Michael De Martino

(Sophie Heldman, 2010, Germany, in German, Drama, 85 minutes)

Painfully bland family drama about a father (Bruno Ganz) in his twilight years who, despite the will of his family, chooses not to have surgery for prostate cancer.

There is not a lot to say in reference to the content of the film because hardly anything happens; there is not one memorable moment. Colours in the Dark is lazily directed, the script is pretty standard, and while the acting is acceptable, it is overshadowed by truly hateable characters who seem to have a biter attitude towards everything. The lack of non-diegetic sound in most scenes makes the film feel empty. Essentially, throughout the film characters interact, get disappointed with each other, then leave. This cycle repeats itself constantly.

A lot of the time I found myself on the verge of yelling at the screen in frustration, “something happen!” In a lot of bad films there is a redeeming humorous quality to them, “so-bad-they’re-good” if you will, but not this film.

There is a good chance Colours in the Dark was never intended for audiences of younger generations, but even so, the emptiness of this film will test even the most determined viewer.

If you have problems sleeping by all means watch this film. But if not, stay well away. Life is too short to waste time on films this bland.



2 Responses to “Audi German Film Festival Review: Colours in the Dark [Satte Farben vor Schwarz] (2010)”

  1. kammann April 7, 2011 at 3:30 am #

    Guess you are one of the “young” here only fancy blockbuster-bang-schmus movies with a boring predictable ending. So sorry for you that you didn’t get it, Michael.
    The emptiness, not one memorable moment, as you call it, is very much reality to the family who had no choice in it and had to deal with the suicide. Yes, this story is real and very modern. Last question, why has a dog the honor to be put down when he is terminal sick? and we can’t?
    Being born means to die, let the choice be ours.
    Funny that, the movie was a success in German Speaking Europe. Maybe you are to Australian?

    • mykeedee May 11, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

      Firstly, thank you for taking time out of your day to not only read my review but feel strongly enough that you felt you needed to leave a comment.

      From what I gather you enjoyed Colours in the Dark where I did not. Of course it can’t be that simple can it? A personal stab at my maturity, nationality, and taste in film was apparently necessary despite being false.

      As for the film itself – it was simply not that interesting. The problem is that I “got it” all too well. I wish I hadn’t and could let my mind imagine something better. The Sea Inside starring Javier Bardem deals with the exact same topic of having the right to choose one’s death. Only difference is that The Sea Inside is engaging, entertaining, and despite its premise, is not horribly depressing, all of which Colours in the Dark is opposite to. Even if Colours in the Dark was trying to communicate a half decent message, a message alone does not make a good film.

      With my reviews I cut through the BS and I discuss a film for what it really is instead of what one might possibly make of it depending on the angle they choose to see it. I will never go out of my way to find a hidden positive is what is essentially a bad film. And it is not “to Australian” to dislike bad films. It’s called having “common sense”.

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