Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Ruby Red (4 Stars)

Verdammt noch geiler als Harry Potter!

Teenage fantasies are in at the moment, in books and films. Usually they're aimed at young female readers, so the central character is a teenage girl. The trend started with "Twilight", but there's also "Divergent" and "The Hunger Games". Since this is a big money-spinner in America, it's no surprise that Germany has jumped on the bandwagon. The German authoress Kerstin Gier has written a trilogy of books called "Liebe geht durch alle Zeiten", literally "Love lasts through all times", but called the Ruby Red Trilogy in English. The three books, entitled "Ruby Red", "Sapphire Blue" and "Emerald Green", have sold millions of copies.

The film takes place in London. On Gwendolyn's 16th birthday she discovers she has the ability to travel through time. She's told that this is because she belongs to the Montrose family, and in each generation one girl has this ability. It's usual for the girl to be prepared from birth, but Gwendolyn wasn't prepared because she was adopted as a baby after the disappearance of her parents. She is the 12th time traveller, and according to prophecies she is the last. There is also a De Villiers family, in which one boy inherits this ability. The latest is Gideon de Villiers, now 18. Left to themselves the special teenagers leap randomly into the past. A secret organisation in London, known only as The Lodge, has built a machine called a chronograph which can control which date they travel to. For unknown reasons the Lodge is collecting blood samples from the 12 time travellers (six female and six male).

The 9th and 10th time travellers, Gwendolyn's parents, were renegades. They stole the chronograph and all 10 blood samples. The Lodge built a new chronograph and managed to collect new blood samples from six of the time travellers. The Lodge sends Gwendolyn and Gideon on missions into the past to gather the missing blood samples, including from Gwendolyn's parents, who are still teenagers and fleeing through time.

The Lodge's greatest enemy is a religious order called the Florentine Alliance, which is trying to capture and kill the time travellers. When Gwendolyn asks why she's told that it's a battle between good and evil. But she begins to wonder which side is good and which is evil.

"Ruby Red" is a fascinating film with an intricate plot. It has touches of humour, such as Gwendolyn showing her best friend Leslie, a history geek, the photos that she took while visiting the past. That will get Leslie top marks in her next essay. It's a shame the film has never been released in England. The German DVD has English dubbing, which I listened to for a few minutes. Overall it's good quality, except for the person doing Gwendolyn's voice. It sounds too old for a 16-year-old, and the accent irritates me. English dubbing is never up to the standard of German dubbing.

All external scenes in the film were shot on location in London. For internal scenes buildings in Germany were used. I must admit that it seems strange for a film to have schoolchildren in London speaking German, but after a while I got used to it.

The second film in the trilogy, "Sapphire Blue", was in the cinemas in 2014. The third part is scheduled to be released in April 2016.

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