on July 10, 2004
The aspiring teacher Daniel Bannier (Moritz Bleibtreu) has just finished his last day before summer break as a substitute teacher. Daniel has planned to stay in Hamburg over the summer sitting in solitude on his balcony reading books about physics and listening to jazz while everyone else is leaving for an exotic vacation. A boring stiff could sum up Daniel's persona before he met the street vendor Juli (Christiane Paul) who has fallen in love with Daniel. Juli urges Daniel to buy a Mayan ring with the mark of a sun from her as she reveals for him that the love of his life will be wearing a sun. Juli is scheming a love trap for Daniel as she invites him to a street party, however, Daniel is unaware Juli's affections for him and instead meets meets Melek (Idil Üner), a beautiful Turkish girl, as Juli is late to the party.
Melek needs to find a place for the night and she is flying to Turkey the next morning. However, she unveils that she is to meet her beloved under the bridge at Bosphorus strait that divides two continents. After Daniel has dropped off Melek at the airport he realizes that he must go to Istanbul in order to meet her under the bridge. When Daniel begins his journey he sees a hitchhiker whom he picks up, and it is no other than Juli who has decided to escape her sad loss of Daniel by travel. This is the beginning of a long journey for Daniel as he is forced to leave his secure little world and do a lot of things that he would never otherwise have done.
In July is a wonderful love story that offers much laughter and entertainment as the audience probably can relate to the feelings of both Daniel and Juli. Most of the story is told in a flashback as Daniel tells his tale for a mysterious man with a corpse in the trunk, which adds a level of suspense to the film. In the end, Faith Akin has directed a terrific cinematic experience that can lighten the heaviest of hearts and share some hope for those in need of a cheering up.
Note: German with English subtitles.
Daniel (Moritz Bleibtreu), a naive student teacher from Hamburg is pursuaded to buy an antique ring adorned with the image of the sun by a street vendor. July (Christiane Paul) the pretty girl selling the item tells him he will soon meet a woman wearing the same symbol. She will be his one true love.
July plans to be that true love, but Daniel bumps into someone else first wearing the sunburst symbol on her tanktop. She spends one night with him before leaving for Istanbul. He decides to pursue her and as fate would have it, July inadvertantly joins in the journey. And so the romantic adventure begins.
This is an absolutely fantastic film. Beautiful cinematography, wonderfully infectious music, great storyline and three beautiful girls. Besides the two actors already mentioned I want to also credit Mehmet Kurtulus and Idil Uner for their first rate supporting roles.
I could watch this film over and over again. My favorite German language movie by far!
on June 22, 2004
I'm writing this review because I would like "In Juli" to get the attention it deserves. I saw it in New York about 2 years ago. It literally was shown for 3 days and then completely disappeared. I know no one who saw it, or even heard of it,and that is a shame.
"In Juli" is a comedy, a mystery, a road story and it has fabulous scenery of eastern and southern Europe. But, best of all, it has the most romantic line, I've ever heard in a movie - we'll it's at the top of the list, along with all the best ones you've heard. I won't say what it is, you'll just have to buy the video.
The acting is splendid, my favorite one being Christianne Paul playing Juli, the lead female character. She is beautiful, smart and knowing and has a terrific smile. Moritz Bleibtreu plays Daniel, the male lead and it is wonderful watching him transform to someone who is basically not present in his life, to someone who can have adventures, fall down, get up and fall in love. The acting, overall, is excellent and as the story builds, you end of liking and routing for all the characters.
One of the many levels the movie is about is having to travel and have experiences that ultimately help you grow and change, and finally be able to see that the real love that you are looking for is right in front of you - you just need to be open to see it.
on July 16, 2007
Of the "road trip" style of movies this is probably the best I've seen. It is the story of a hapless science professor, Daniel (Moritz Bleibtreu), receives mystical advice from a street vendor that he will find his true love wearing a star. In a mix-up he has a fantastic one night stand with someone wearing a star, and decides to find her in Turkey.
Thus begin his travels and the discovery of his true love (his travel companion for a while). While the outcome for Daniel is know from the beginning of the film, the fun is in the journey.
Here the movie really shines. It never takes itself seriously, nor does it become a a movie of "one liners".
For me, the movie works on multiple levels. One can enjoy the (mis)adventures of Daniel's journey to Turkey, or follow the coutry side, or follow the director's images capturing Daniel's experiences, or follow the "Road less traveled" hiding beneath the surface, or enjoy the amazing acting of Bleitreu, Christiane Paul and especially Mehment Kurtulus.
I can watch this movie over and over and never tire of it.
on January 26, 2006
In July is one of the movies that I can watch over and over. I will not cover the plot, since reviewers before me did a good job at it.
I would not consider this film a sappy melodrama, and I did not find it annoying like some love movies are. It is very lighthearted and kind. It tells a story of following your fate, finding your love, and of traveling across Europe without a penny in the pocket. In fact, it does not concentrate on love, although it is the premise of the film. You can just watch it as an adventure movie with many funny stories and situations. The actors do a good job playing their parts, scenery is cool, there are a few fancy and scenes with a trendy camera work, and the soundtrack is wonderful.
It is a typical quality European film. I hope you enjoy watching it.
on November 6, 2004
I first saw Im Juli (In July) my first month living in Germany, and it has been one of my favorites ever since. It is a light-hearted lark of a film, meant to replicate and expand on the contrivances of the Hollywood romantic road film. And director Faith Akin brings to the genre his own (distinctly European) sense of humor and whimsy.
Moritiz Bleibtreu and Christiane Paul as the film's leads are delightful - they play off each other with an easy chemistry and create winning characters for whom you cheer. The supporting characters are equally as likeable and altogether unusual for a romantic comedy, the difference that sets Im Juli (In July) apart from it's Hollywood counterparts.
If you're looking for a fun film and don't expect cinematic genious, Im Juli (In July) will satisfy your inner ham quite nicely. Considering the decidedly heavier offerings from Germany (Europe Europe, Wings of Desire, Big Girls Don't Cry, anything by Fassbinder), Im Juli (In July) is a treat. Along with Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run, The Princess and the Warrior), Faith Akin is one of Germany's most delightful and innovative directors.
on April 12, 2014
We enjoyed this movie! Having see the director's work before (Head on! or Gegen die Wand) we weren't sure what to expect except that it would probably be unexpected and it was!
The characters are all having their own little trials and tribulations, some in their minds and some in interactions with the world around them. The few main characters and many minor characters become intertwined in hilarious and strange ways.
Per normal, many of the characters are Turkish-Germans and at least part of the movie takes place in Turkey. I believe the director wants to film some part of Istanbul in every film, perhaps.
This film is well worth watching. We enjoyed it immensely. We watched it in German with English subtitles. We speak a little German but not enough to watch without subtitles. As usual, the subtitles don't always give an exact translation but they were pretty well done and easy to read (sometimes subtitles are NOT easy to read).
I'm sure we'll keep looking for more movies by director Fatih Akin, who often surprises, but never disappoints.
on September 21, 2006
Endearing German comedy `In July' follows the fate of one bespectacled timid math teacher Daniel (Moritz Bleibtreu), who finds a true love on the road to Turkey. Actually, he has already found it in Hamburg where he lives and teaches - her name is Juli with whom he travels (played by charming Christiane Paul) -- but too innocent Daniel just cannot realize that.
Part road movie, part romantic comedy, part slapstick action, `In July' is free from formulaic structures of Hollywood-made romantic comedies. Like `another European comedy `Black Cat, White Cat' the film is about the unstoppable energy of Daniel and Juli and those whom they encounter while traveling in Eastern Europe. The film may look inconsequential to some, and perhaps it is so, but `In July' is still a feel-good comedy with a healthy doze of romance against the background of cross-cultural experiences.
Moritz Bleibtreu is very good (as always) at playing a character who finds himself in the wrong place as in `Run Lola Run', but the true star of the film is Christiane Paul as free-spirited and independent Juli who leads the shy Daniel into the place where he as ordinary teacher would never dreamed of entering. Equally impressive is the `crazy' girl Luna played by beautiful and sexy Branka Katic, a van driver who guides Daniel into a seedy café in Budapest.
Not everything succeeds, it is true, and Daniel's innocence often looks too implausible, but `In July' is more charming than irritating. Director Fatih Akin's story is patchy and sometimes impossible, but the film is refreshing and appealing nonetheless.
on November 12, 2015
Romance, adventure, and exposure and symbolism; these are the elements that are embodied in Fatih Akin’s “I’m July”. As in any other Romantic Comedy, or Rom-Com for short, the protagonist Daniel Bannier finds himself smitten by the gorgeous Malek and goes to great -and at times humors- lengths to achieve his goal and proclaim his love to her. With his secret admirer Juli by his side, Daniel ventures out to Istanbul Turkey to the Bosphorus bridge where he will eventually find- or rather recognize- his true love. Daniel is able to experience another world outside of his heimat and is thus forced to leave his comfort zone of the familiar and boring life that he has so far faired as a naive and unconfident teaching apprentice. Daniel is forced to become a “real man” via his newly found exposure to a cosmopolitan way of life.
Daniel found Malek by following the sun sign on the ring that Juli gave him; although ironically Juli gave it to him so that he would find her at the party, not Malek. This moment of dramatic foreshadowing allows the audience to start focusing the ring’s symbolism as its meaning, purpose, and effects on the characters serve to catalyze Daniel’s cosmopolitan exposure and resulting character development. It starts with Julli selling the ring to Daniel as a “flirting point” . She wants him to follow the sun symbol to find her and even though that doesn’t work out as directly as she would have prefered it to, following the sun did bring Daniel to start is international chase for finding his love. Following the sun allows one to see their path clearly and that is exactly what the ring does for Daniel...eventually.
Sometimes the path that a person must go on is not the ideal one. Daniel’s encounter with Luna was far from pleasant, for she pretends not to speak German and leads him into the suspicious underground life where he is drugged and robbed. While drugged Daniel becomes semi aware of his feelings for Juli. Luna the “lunatic” tries to steal Daniel’s light. In stealing his ring she is fulfilling her role as the chaotic darkness (as represented by the moon) and is destabilizing Daniel’s life. This upset by this insane foreign girl forces Daniel to fend for himself and fight for what he truly wants which is to find Juli, from whom he is separated from, and also pushes him to steal his property back -something that he would not have done if he were still back home .
The concept of home and heimat is inexplicitly explored through Daniel’s cosmopolitan trip. The sun eventually led Daniel to see that his love was with him the entire time but it took him through foreign lands of Hungary, Romania, Turkey and then back to Germany. It introduced him to its opposite the moon and experiences of uncertainty, loss, and betrayal only to at the very end bring him to find his true love Juli was there from the beginning -but why would Fatih Akin create such an experience for this “good” German man? It can be argued that Daniel is representative of Akin’s impression of German culture. Germany, as personified by Daniel, is inexperienced, intelligent, stale, and in need to find a clearer path so that they may find the unfamiliar parts of themselves to love.
Germany is used to ethnically homogenous people living as one in their own heimat. Juli leads Daniel to leave his heimat and he is exposed to his Turkish love interest and explore the outside cultures. After his journey he is no longer weak and he [German culture] benefits from the exposure and in turn develops as a more complete person [culture]. At the end of the journey, it would have been hard to believe that it had been a wimpy and socially awkward Daniel that encountered one of the craziest women in film history, stole a bus and a car, attempted and failed to car-jump a river using physics, and escaped from jail. His journey to “follow the sun” pretty much had him “travel hundreds of miles, cross rivers, and move mountains.” Daniel would not have become the complete man that he his without having “transcended borders (Eren, 175)” and experienced life outside of himself. “I’m July” is a film that argues in favor of the positive influence of cosmopolitanism can have on German society through the journey and positive character developement of Daniel Bannier.
on July 18, 2011
I remember a high school English teacher so enthralled with Julie Christie when Darling was first released, that she turned the film into a homework assignment: is Julie Christie the most beautiful actress you've ever seen? I suppose things like that happen quite often in cinema, although not to me. But the con artistry Christiane Paul manages to exude in the beginning of In July is unforgettable and the question becomes - does her encounter with math teacher Daniel Bannier (Moritz Bleibtreu) beckon substantially enough to maintain our interest during the rigors of a six country, two continent tour in and around unfamiliar locales not often placed on your day tripping tour guide? Short answer: You bet.
Director Fatih Akin has a plot that becomes a pilgrimage, with street vendors selling sun goddess rings, surrealistic pillows in moonlight, Yugoslav car chases and a Romanian cross border marriage without a passport. Daniel is a willing accomplice throughout because, riding with Christiane and accompanied by a musical score by turns Andalucian, then Euro techno punk tinged with Asian hip hop, he will meet a woman, Melek (Idil Uner) in Istanbul under a bridge that separates Europe from Asia. When Leo, a truck driver bound for Budapest, fondles Christiane too intently, it's a matter to marvel over how Director Akin stops the fantasy on a dime in order to signal real danger. At the all clear, actress Branka Katic entices Daniel further with shakes and shovels in a manner that would give most people a bill for chiropractic services. Akin himself plays a Romanian border guard not only surly but armed with the tiebreaker: a Russian AK. Daniel and Christiane not only survive but thrive in a pastiche of color film shot under florescent light, and you know what that does to people with less than perfect skin tone. This film was a huge undertaking with multiple trans national film crews and I, for one, am ready for the sequel