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Off Course (Perdiendo el Norte)
by Marinell Haegelin

Director: Nacho Garcia Velilla -  UK / USA

Together with poking fun at societies’  generalizations, this film promises 105-minutes of laughing aloud  entertainment. As recession deepens in Spain, two well-educated friends chance  on a TV report extolling Berlin, Germany as the new Promised Land. Full of  fire, Braulio (Julián López) and Hugo (Yon González)—with blessings from his  fiancé (Úrsula Corberó) and parents (Javier Cámara, Carmen Machi)—arrive in Berlin.  Pre-arranged lodging entails their staying with an outlandish brother (Miki  Esparbé) and his capable sister (Blanca Suárez). Duped, given that companies  ignore their impressive resumes, they need to find alternatives sources to  survive. An elderly neighbor (José Sacristán) sweeps aside their moaning by  telling stories of his immigration, and assimilation. Therefore, when they  learn the landlord (Younes Bachir) and wife (Malena Alterio) need staff at  their kebob restaurant, it is a win-win situation. Subsequently, other  employment options offer Braulio tantalizing prospects with dismaying results,  just as Hugo is forced by circumstances to confront changes at home. But when  push comes to shove, this patchwork family’s bond meets the challenge.

Director Nacho Garcia Velilla and talented ensemble deliver a delightful, fast-paced,  sassy comedy. Ranging from close-ups to sweeping long shots of Berlin’s  skyline, Isaac Vila’s camera misses nothing. Working in tandem is Ángel  Hernández’s editing, and Juanjo Javierre’s music. The sometimes hard to read  subtitles can be overlooked in such a strong and funny film that even now has  me grinning.