Thursday, 19 June 2014

Taugenichts (3 Stars)

This film is based on a famous German novel by Joseph von Eichendorff, written in 1823. A family has named their son Taugenichts, which means worthless. What a name! When he grows up to be an adult he lives up to his name. Instead of working he sits playing his violin all day. That's not too bad, in my opinion. Anyone can be a farmer, but playing a musical instrument takes real skill. But that's not the way the boy's father sees it. He throws his worthless son out and tells him to fend for himself.

Taugenichts is walking along the road playing his violin when a carriage passes him carrying two noblewomen. They are impressed with his music, so they take him with them to their castle near Vienna. First they make him their gardener, which is a job he's not well suited for. Then they find out that he can read, write and do arithmetic -- obviously not common skills in those days -- so they appoint him as their tax collector. He's not so worthless after all.

I'd probably enjoy the book, if I read it, but the film doesn't appeal to me. I've never liked period films with people in fine clothing. It's not my thing, sorry.

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