Little Vitus needs to fly. This is why he presumably breaks into an airport and takes to the heavens aboard a small airplane in the opening scenes of Fredi M. Murer’s Swiss crowd-pleaser. Prior to that, though, a much younger Vitus is seen asking for a piano. His mother tells him to ask his father, his father tells him to ask his godfather, and before the child can ask anyone else, the next scene reveals a piano cozily situated in the corner of a living room. A precedent has been set: Vitus always gets what he wants! This awkward little film entertains a certain nature-versus-nurture debate: Vitus would appear to have an innate talent for tinkling the ivories, but he seems more interested in flying, a pleasure cultivated by his handyman grandfather (Bruno Ganz). The boy’s struggle to define his identity entirely on his own terms is intriguing in spite of the programmatic story, insufficiently dramatized characters, and Murer’s almost indifferent direction, but Vitus‘s second half gives new meaning to wanting your cake and eating it too. Either a genius or a complete psychopath, Vitus learns to milk his talents for various purposes: to please his gramps and get his parents off his back, but mostly to indulge his fantasies, including buying the affections of the girl who used to babysit him when he was younger. Awesome as Vitus’s orchestrations may be, the film pushes an off-putting message about unchecked privilege that reeks of capitalist pigdom.
- Sony Pictures Classics
- 123 min
- Fredi M. Murer
- Peter Luisi, Fredi M. Murer, Lukas B. Suter
- Teo Gheorghiu, Julika Jenkins, Urs Jucker, Bruno Ganz, Fabrizio Borsani, Eleni Haupt, Kristina Lykowa, Tamara Scarpellini
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