Balloon – The DVDfever Review – World War II drama

Balloon takes us up, up and away… eventually, in a World War II tale of two families based in East Germany who would rather be in West Germany, because the Nazis are nasty.

The first home-made balloon attempt fails, so they have to make a second, but the film goes on far long than is required, and it really feels like they’re dragging things out to get to that point.

Will they succeed with the second? Well,you’ll have to watch the film to find out, but I understand that for the real-life air trip, they made three balloons in total, so this movie condenses the story a bit. Thankfully.

There’s certainly drama in there as the families take to the skies and hope that their balloons work out, but alas, it’s all told in a fairly perfunctory manner.

The original language is German, leaving the English dialogue sounding like a little bit like an overdubbed soap opera from the ’80s, but it’s serviceable enough to make the film more accessible for those who aren’t too much into films in a different language. Then again, the dialogue, itself, is sometimes like what you’d find in a bad soap opera.

As a decent aside, the end credits feature pictures of the real balloons and sewing press used in the escape attempts, along with pictures of the real people involved.

Balloon is out now on Amazon Video and DVD.

Balloon – Theatrical Trailer

Detailed specs:

Running time: 125 minutes
Release date: October 7th 2019
Studio: StudioCanal
Format: 2.35:1
Rating: 4/10

Director: Michael Bully Herbig
Producer: Michael Bully Herbig
Screenplay: Michael Bully Herbig, Kit Hopkins, Thilo Röscheisen
Music: Marvin Miller, Ralf Wengenmayr

Peter Strelzyk: Friedrich Mücke
Doris Strelzyk: Karoline Schuch
Günter Wetzel: David Kross
Petra Wetzel: Alicia von Rittberg
Oberstleutnant Seidel: Thomas Kretschmann
Frank Strelzyk: Jonas Holdenrieder
Andreas ‘Fitscher’ Strelzyk: Tilman Döbler
Hauptmann Heym: Christian Näthe
Peterchen Wetzel: Till Patz
Andreas Wetzel: Ben Teichmann
Erik Baumann: Ronald Kukulies
Klara Baumann: Emily Kusche
Oberfeldwebel Lesch: Sebastian Hülk
Oberstleutnant Schirra: Gernot Kunert
Oberstleutnat Tornow: Ulrich Friedrich Brandhoff