Bravo to Jörg Reichlin who himself has written, directed and casted (the protagonist) Am rande der Zeiten that absolutely presents the power of art to the world and unveils the reality of a writer’s life on a generic level. The title of the film reads in English as On the Edge of Times that itself indicated many layers of time from all walks of life, from being the big fish of the ocean and to living a street life. The protagonist of the film features a novelist’s journey who is working on his second novel who has bagged fame and prosperity with his first novel already.
The novelist, Wolfgang Hanebrecht, leaves Germany and heads toward his friend’s allotment in Zurich to be found by himself only and to work on his second novel while already fighting a mental block. In a lonely allotment the writer struggles to keep writing his novel while being asked about his art skills and “are you a poet at all?” type questions by his neighbors. Surprisingly the character of the first neighbor knocking his door is played by the protagonist himself – which symbolizes some self-check sides of the film. Later, being failed to give his writer’s block a proper cure, the frustration finally makes him burn his incomplete manuscript into ashes.
While receiving the triggers of his beloved wife’s past memories as glimpses, the writer still thrives to survive in devastating nights, memorising his wife’s support. As the movie reveals, the plot takes another turn when his producer withdraws from his novel for his failure to produce it in a given time and he is also directed to vacate the allotment within a short notice. The only support, still remaining there, is the daughter of the writer who always made everything better with all her love and care for her father, even through the screen.
But then again, he is all alone, surviving in the streets with no penny left but his laptop only. Living a life with the homeless people under a bridge, but still fighting to win his ideas, he keeps typing. The manifold journey of an artist shows the reality of those writers’ lives who often disappear in the thin air. The creator has beautifully portrayed the rejection of the reality that an artist’s idealism has to fight till they breathe. But here, the struggle goes on until the protagonist finally finds a way.
The location of the film adds some extra cream to it while the background score is just the cherry on the top. The folk and the blues tunes in the background makes the audience living in the film, walking the empty streets with the writer itself. Besides, the super artistic cinematography and aesthetic camera shots make it a perfect artistic composition.
The journey of the writer finally reaches to a super ending that leaves the audience with a mixed feeling of melancholia and exhilaration. In nutshell, Am Rande der Zeiten shows the handling of writer’s block and thus underlines the realism of this fast world and the crises, often fought by the idealistic branch of people.