Pills have been hiding Hans Wagner from reality for a long time. He's popping pills because he is scared of everything. One day he takes his last pill, without him knowing that's all he has. When reality comes crashing, a paranoid Hans walks out into the real world, and he falls in love with a cashier, but he is too scared to talk to her. A bum tried to help him, and it all takes a weird turn.
It's about time we took a look at "Why Hans Wagner Hates the Starry Sky", a movie that's been on our current screener list the longest. The reason I mention this is because it goes together with one of my main beliefs about reviewing. The reason why we've lasted this long is because even though we get a lot of different kinds of movies, many which we know might not be our tastes, I always try to only watch and review a movie when I am in the mood for that movie. It might not automatically mean that I will like the movie, but odds are in its favor. Of course I am not a professional review, and my "rule" is just for my own reviewing. A professional does it as their job and should not be looking at it the same way. I do it as a hobby and thus I try to do whatever I can to keep the fire going. It took me a long time to watch "Why Hans Wagner Hates the Starry Sky" because I haven't been in the mood to watch it (based on its trailer). That ended today, and I'm glad that it did because Lars Kokemüller's debut feature has more to offer than many independent films like it.
Hans Wagner is a pill popping loner. He needs the pills because he is scared of everything, even the stars in the sky. He drinks his alcohol and takes his pills, and life is okay for him. Until one day, when he is out of pills and has to face the realities. He leaves his home and is met by a scary place: the world. His journey in the real world puts him in the awkward position of having to meet people. One of the people he meets is a young cashier that he falls in love with, but doesn't have the courage to talk to. When he leaves the store he plants himself on a bench outside, where he sits and drinks alcohol. Little does he know that this bench is the bed of a bum, who returns to his beloved bench only to find a young man drinking alcohol on it. The two start a conversation, and it leads to this bum, Hobbit, trying to help Hans to talk to the cashier. One thing leads to another and Hans finds himself in strange situation after strange situation, but will he ever get his cashier? A fairy might be able to help.
Obviously "Why Hans Wagner Hates the Starry Sky" is a very cheaply made independent film. It's not a movie that is specifically attractive with its photography or cinematography. It's your typical "pick up a camera and shoot" style of movie. What the movie does have is a main character who you gets to know and care about somewhat, much thanks to the help of the movie having a narrator who quickly gives us all the info we need on the guy. Hans Wagner is a socially awkward fellow who just wants to talk to his newly found dream girl - but getting there proves to be tricky. It's something we can relate to, and I found a few situations he gets himself into quite entertaining. Especially the scene where Hans goes to attempt speed dating in hopes that he can practice talking to women. Honestly, I couldn't tell you why this scene stood out to me, but it was a light-hearted, fun moment where the acting or situation didn't feel forced.
What happens further into the movie changes the style and atmosphere a bit, as there's a bit of fantasy thrown into it. This wasn't absolutely necessary if you ask me, since I enjoyed it a lot more before a fairy and whatnot is introduced. However it does lead the movie down a dark path that some people might find surprising after a fairly "happy" opening (I say that even though the movie is about a very shy, paranoid and troubled person). At this point in the movie I somehow felt sidetracked from the romance that we had been builting up for.
This is a filmmaker's basic early attempt, but that somehow makes it the most sincere. "Why Hans Wagner Hates the Starry Sky" has flaws in its production quality but there is no need to talk negative about that. The movie is charming and for the majority of the time I was curious about where Hans' attempt to talk to his dream girl would go. There were moments towards the end where it lost my attention a bit by going a little weird, but it's still a pretty decent indie comedy/drama.