Snowflake is a work of mad genius and one of the most surprisingly fun movies to come along in a long time. At a three-way intersection between Pulp Fiction, John Dies at the End, and Boondock Saints in a universe David Lynch would give his blessing to, lies the frenetic twisted German insanity of Schneeflöckchen (original title).
It’s oversimplifying to label Tan (Erkan Acar) and Javid (Reza Brojerdi) as the bad guys in this story. Good and bad are subjective here and shifts with point of view. However, it is fair to say that they are morally casual “do whatever is necessary” guys, even if that involves stealing cars and torture with a chainsaw. We begin with these two, who speak in Tarantino-esque cadence and style, obsessing over the finer points of low-brow kebab dining.
They discover their lives eerily parallel an amateur script being banged out on the computer of a dentist named Arend (Alexander Schubert) who writes for fun. Not, perhaps, coincidental is the fact that the screenwriter for the actual film is named Arend as well (Arend Remmers). We question how much of the movie includes us now, how deep does the meta go? It becomes obvious early on that ultra-violence is in the offing, and the gory body count of the film is truly impressive.
As we spiral down into Inception-like layers of complications, more characters and threads pile on at an increasingly frenzied pace. There are masked cannibals, an electrified Rocketeer-styled super-hero, an angel, God (maybe) and his son, a beautiful woman seeking revenge, and her hired Irish hitman who are all inexorably drawn into a bizarre finale built around the rise of a neo-Hitler figure in modern day Germany.
“…guy in a pig mask runs by, grabbing the script from their hands…“
All written by the dentist in his spare time, for a goof.
The revelatory moment for the two outlaws is when they read in the script “guy in a pig mask runs by, grabbing the script from their hands…” and then he does.
As Tan and Javid are coming to grips with the fact that Arend is writing their lives, and everything he writes comes to pass in the real world, they find him and insist he write the ending they desire. Arend discovers, as all writers do, that he is ultimately at the mercy of his own characters. As they say in screenwriting class: If it’s not on the page, it’s not on the screen.
The ideas in Snowflake aren’t new ones. These are the kinds of top-of-the-head, breathless, alcohol-induced what-ifs every filmmaker has desperately entertained when faced with an empty page late at night. The difference here is that Remmers and director Adolfo Kolmerer have fleshed out their spitballed insanity with great characters, perfect timing, memorable moments, and enough clever dialog to pull the viewer into their contrived world of dark fantasy. We don’t just suspend disbelief here, we smack it on the ass and ask if it’s having a good time.
The tagline of the film, The Most Fucked Up German Fairy Tale Since The Brothers Grimm is dead-on accurate, but we could add: and the most thrilling.
Snowflake (2018) Directed by Adolfo J. Kolmerer, William James. Written by Arend Remmers. Starring Reza Brojerdi, Erkan Acar, Alexander Wolf .
8 out of 10