FREDDY/EDDY, the feature film debut of director Tini Tullmann, is a psychological thriller about a man and the re-appearance of his childhood imaginary friend after he is accused of beating his wife. The film stars Felix Schafer (Traumfrauen), Jessica Schwarz (Perfume: The Story of a Murderer), Greta Bohacek (Das weiße Kaninchen), and Alexander Finkenwirth (Herzberg).
The film focuses on Freddy (Schafer), a famous artist who has been accused of severely assaulting his wife and her lover. Having no recollection of the event, and standing by his innocence, he begins to realize that his childhood friend, Eddy (Schafer), has returned. As events start to unfold, Freddy begins to question if Eddy is imaginary or real. With little proof to back up his claims, Freddy begins to investigate what Eddy means to him and where his imaginary friend originated from, only to find out that the truth is much deadlier than he could have ever imagined.
I can’t begin to imagine how difficult it must be to play two different roles in the same film, but Felix Schafer pulls it off so perfectly that the viewer is able to differentiate between the two characters without too much confusion. Schafer is really what drives the film, as the story and climax rest on his shoulders, so to say he does a brilliant job of showcasing his talents in this film would be an understatement. It’s hard to believe this is only his second movie as most seasoned pro’s don’t take on the task of playing two completely opposing characters in the same space. I really hope that in the future we will have the chance to see Schafer in other films because he’s truly a talented individual and really did a phenomenal job of bringing this story to life. Same goes for Alexander Finkenwirth, who played Freddy’s half brother David, who did his best to ground Freddy back into reality. I loved the family dynamics between the two especially when Freddy’s sanity came into play. It makes you wonder how far someone is willing to believe a loved one when they are crafting a tale that seems incredibly preposterous.
In terms of story, I found the overall storyline to be intriguing and it kept me guessing up until the final moments. With a movie such as this, Tullmann needed to keep his cards close to his chest while still giving the audience enough to work with. I really feel like Tullman did a fantastic job making sure the narration was presented to the viewer in a way that was both entertaining yet puzzling. Because of the twists and turns that this film had, it helped in moving the story along at a reasonable pace and I found myself never really feeling bored with what was unfolding. The only critique that I had was I felt like because the story relied on crafting a climactic twist it may have been better to cut down on some of the other narratives so that the story wouldn’t end up becoming too confusing. Though I found it easy to follow for the most part, I think cutting back on certain story arcs would have been a bit more beneficial.
Besides the mystery at hand, there were some themes running throughout the film that were a bit tough to swallow. If sexual assault on a minor is triggering for you than I suggest steering clear of this. I will say that the director didn’t glorify those moments for shock value which is something that I appreciated. I do like that this film deals with more than just the surface topics which results in a story that is much more compelling. Though I did have a tough time with some of the subject matter it’s only because it hit too close to home.
Overall, I think FREDDY/EDDY is a great addition to the thriller genre and a film that should not be missed. I’ve seen a few movies that center around an imaginary friend being real or not and I would say that FREDDY/EDDY is one of the few to really make me question my own thoughts on what was actually happening. I also love it when a movie introduces me to new actors I may not have heard about and I’m definitely going to make sure I keep Felix Schafer and Alexander Finkenwirth on my radar as I’m interested to see where their careers go from here. All in all, FREDDY/EDDY is a smart thriller and one that will keep you guessing till the very end.
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