Opening May 24, 2018
Directed by: Thomas Stuber
Writing credits: Clemens Meyer, Thomas Stuber
Principal actors: Sandra Hüller, Franz Rogowski, Peter Kurth, Henning Peker, Sascha Nathan
When Christian (Franz Rogowski) starts working as a shelf stacker at a supermarket, he finds himself enthralled by the forklifts. He soon learns the importance of the forklift in completing the job of restocking shelves. While under the training of Bruno (Peter Kurth), his superior in the beverages section, Christian starts the arduous journey of learning to drive one of these formidable vehicles. It isn’t as easy as it looks; neither is falling in love with Marion (Sandra Hüller), his coworker who stocks the neighboring sweets aisle.
A quiet, unassuming love story which meanders along, In the Aisles is mostly just bizarre, never quite pulling off its quirky aspirations and only managing to make the workers of big box stores look alien and broken, rather than human. Maybe the humor just doesn’t translate well from German into English (which is often the case), but there is little to laugh about here, and the characterizations make most jokes seem to be at the expense of the downtrodden and underrepresented workers of such stores. Add to that Christian’s obsession with Marion which results in some genuinely creepy stalking, which is framed as a romantic act, and the whole thing begins to seem less quirky and more disturbing. The result is a film with major tonal disparities which ultimately leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth. (Rose F.)