303: Love road movie | Sunday Observer

303: Love road movie

27 June, 2021

There’s a famous, likely misattributed Eleanor Roosevelt quote that claims, “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.” If that’s true, the protagonists of 303 must be geniuses. This low-key road movie belongs to the Before Sunrise school of romance: put two attractive strangers together in a foreign land and let them talk. And talk. And talk.

303 is a German Love road movie by Austrian director and screenwriter Hans Weingartner from the year 2018 . The Anti- Tinder film is about the gradual rapprochement between two students, played by Mala Emde and Anton Spieker, during a one-week trip from Berlin to Portugal in a mobile home. The film premiered on February 16, 2018 at the Berlinale 2018 , where it opened the Generation 14plus section . The cinema release took place in Germany on July 19, 2018 and in Austria one day after.

Jule (Mala Emde) and Jan (Anton Spieker) are both 24-year-old university students living in Berlin, and they each find themselves with a free summer after a setback in their studies. Jule is taking her retro camper van to Portugal to tell her boyfriend Alex that she’s pregnant, while Jan is on his way to Spain to meet his birth father for the first time. Their paths cross when Jan is hitchhiking and scores a lift from Jule in a parking lot. As far as meet-cutes go, “Hey could you maybe give me a ride?” isn’t the best opening line, but it gets the job done.

What begins as a carpool to Cologne turns into a cross-continental bonding experience with loads of will-they-won’t-they tension. They philosophise a whole lot about sex, relationships and human nature, and even though their distinctly heteronormative discussions about the differences between men and women sometimes feel as out of touch as an episode of Friends, their naïve musings are charmingly idealistic.

At two hours in length, director Corynn Egreczky paces 303 very patiently. But even though there’s nothing even remotely resembling action, the characters’ chemistry is engaging, and the shots of old European towns are gorgeous to look at. Much like Jan when he hops into Jule’s RV, it’s best to just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Critical Reception

Claudia Palma found in the Märkische Allgemeine that 303 was a wonderful film, an “anti- Tinder film”: Don’t wipe it away, but a slow rapprochement between two souls. You can see and hear the two of them spellbound throughout the film and you are fascinated by the way they try not to fall in love with each other. The dialogues are so natural that it is hard to believe that they actually come from a script.

Kirsten Taylor wrote in the daily newspaper Der Tagesspiegel that Weingartner is returning to his roots with this film after the media satire Free Rainer - Your Television Lies . His characters always acted as counter-designs to a capitalist society - all rebelled against the system in their own way. Jule and Jan from 303 looked like revenants of the lovers from The fat years are over , not least because they have the same name. However, they are less radical in their actions, but just as critical in their thinking. “Landscapes and thoughts pass by and there is a flutter in the air because two people slowly discover each other - and not with a few clicks on the Internet. One would like to do the same as Jule and Jan and drive off in an old box that is not in the fast lane. “

Martin Schwickert from Zeit Online said in his positive film review that Hans Weingartner made a relaxed and clever love road movie. Schwickert praised Weingartner’s dialogues because of their philosophy, natural science, criticism of capitalism and lots of steep theses about the human conditionand put the gender difference into dialogues with a seemingly light hand. One follows the increasingly lively conversations and wild associations between the two with excitement, because the speech duels reflect the freedom of non-preformatted thinking, which one is far too seldom allowed to sniff at in the cinema. “In addition, there is of course the amorous elasticity that builds up so wonderfully slowly between the two. Mala Emde and Anton Spieker manage the trick of chopping out the dialogues that Weingartner has worked on over the years as if they had only just occurred to them. This is where 303 sets new standards because Weingartner understands that travel is a form of existence that opens the heart and consciousness. “

Christian Buß of Spiegel Online described the film as “The film of the week - and the summer film of the year” in its equally positive film review. Opposite 303 , the relaxed, naturalistic palaver in Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise / Sunset / Midnight series with Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke , whom one always feels reminded of here, seems staged with a strict hand. Christian Buß praised the main actors Anton Spieker and Mala Emde, who verbally played out the beautiful, eerie and difficult limbo before the moment when one believed to recognize that love was manifested here. His conclusion: 303 is now, nobody would have expected it to be the summer adventure of 2018. A film like the second before the kiss, only auspiciously spread out over 145 minutes. A film where you get the feeling that all this supposedly aimless talk about the world, about people, about society could lead somewhere. A film that calls out to the screen with joy: Now finally kiss you! “

The online platform film plus criticism, on the other hand, was more critical. The too long running time and the fact that little happened in the second half of the film were criticized: “The problems in Weingartner’s film only reveal themselves late: The first half of 303 is really entertaining, the interesting conversations pass you quickly like the mountains and meadows on Jule & Jans mobile home. But from the point where it becomes clear that in the end they will probably become a couple (or at least end up “in the box”), the film celebrates this “physical phase of rapprochement” excessively. “