“A message from mom”: A family and a suitcase full of sticks

People don’t agree very much these days. However, with the phrase “Mom is the best” this is true in most cases. But when mom is taken out of life early, too soon, it has a huge emotional impact on families – and ultimately is the starting point for a drama series over and over again. For example, Emma Friedmann in “Friedmanns Vier” (RTL +) is suddenly taken from life in a car crash, leaves a fighting family in the first eight episodes of the debut season around Mischko’s father and Tilda’s children, Maya and Carl * a. Elli May also has three children: Lennart, Lisa and Leon – and doesn’t see them grow up.

There are good reasons why she only talks to a teenager on a laptop on Lisa’s 13th birthday, as TV audiences in Pictures of pajamas the upcoming drama series “A message from my mother” is coming soon. What Lisa sees on her day of honor is one of the countless movie clips, one more loving than the other, that Elli recorded in the last weeks and months of her life. Marked by a long battle with cancer, a battle in which Jessica Ginkel’s loving actress was no longer willing to fight. She left behind a whole suitcase full of USB drives – neatly sorted for all situations in life. So mom stays (kind of) there. But is it really good if mom is otherwise involved in family life even though she is no longer there? This is one of the questions the series subtly raises in the background. Without a doubt: Elli left a lot of sorrow behind her. With children, with her husband Tobias (Golo Euler) and with her own mother Claudia.

No, Message to Mom doesn’t cause pointless tears, but tells honestly and honestly, emotionally and realistically the story of a great loss. The story of a family that is partially dysfunctional, because somehow something is wrong between dad Tobias and little Leon, who wants to run away every night, because life is an escape for him right now, but he can’t really. do everything right. How such a tension between the father and the child is not apparent at first – but you can guess that it may be related to the fact that Elli was already pregnant when she found out about the cancer. “Promise me no one is to blame except that goddamn cancer. Everything else is destroying our family ”- Elli will explain on her laptop at one point, because she already suspected that Tobias would have problems with her decision, the life of her unborn son is above her. create your own survival. “Promise me, it’s nobody’s fault” was also the words spoken to Tobias from the laptop weeks or months later.

Close, but far

There is something disturbing about these scenes. It’s annoying that Elli and Tobias seem to be close together despite being so far apart. This laptop, all the technology, is not what it should be. This is what director Felix Binder can play with and how his cinematographer Thomas Schinz is able to capture closeness and distance at the same time.

Although she is no more, Elli is still omnipresent in her family. When he advises his daughter Lisa on her 13th birthday to “do something really crazy”, she immediately shaves all her hair – and, like Carl * in “Friedmanns Vier”, runs, albeit for a completely different reason – henceforth the show with a short-shaven stubble. And then there is Lennart, who has been locked in his room for months and therefore not present to the family (and initially also to the public) because the pain of loss is so pervasive.

“A Message to Mom” ​​allows the scenes to be interpreted in some places, the books by Suki Maria Roesse, Sabine Leipert and Claudia Leins do not explain everything in the smallest detail. So it remains doubtful why Papa Tobias likes to play with suspicious erotic chats on the computer and finally calls there too. Is it his own way of dealing with pain, or is there more to it? Because it is clear early on that Elli took a big secret with her to her death. The secret of a passionate romance with Till, played by the star of the “Red Ribbon Club” Tim Oliver Schulz. A customer of her bookstore who, apparently knowing nothing about cancer, met her mercilessly. Only Katrin, Ella’s best friend, was privy to the affair and thinks Tobias shouldn’t know about it. Meanwhile, Katrin presents her character with one of the few plots that seem to have been destroyed by many other dramas. Because even if he struggles with his feelings; Of course, she has long wanted more than just friendship from a broken family member – and of course Tobias is too busy with God and the world to tell for himself what the viewer will notice after seven seconds.

Even though “Friedmanns Vier” and “A Message from Mum” tell a comparable family constellation, even though some scenes and patterns of behavior are quite similar, the two series progress differently throughout the story. “Friedmanns Vier” is told more joyfully, lightly, looser and deeper, which is not only due to the character of his father, Miszek. Message for Mama is heavier, darker, just as emotional and poignant – and ultimately both formats are equally worth seeing.

For Sat.1, which has recently largely avoided producing German series and has severely restricted its own film production, “News for Mum” is obviously risky. If that were to be anticipated, it would probably be wiser to flop that News for Mom would be another series that is not sufficiently accepted on linear TV, not least because of the horizontal arc of the narrative. Even so, “News for Mom” ​​has a different and certainly a welcome message to the industry: it doesn’t always have to be just a crime, especially in times like these emotional tragedies in the environment of family or friends are also on demand.

Sat.1 shows “Message from Mom” ​​from Monday February 7, 2022 at 20:15 in double episodes.

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