(director/writer: Thomas Stuber; screenwriter: Clemens Meyer/short story by Clemens Meyer; cinematographer: Peter Matjasko; editor: Kaya Inan; cast: Franz Rogowski (Christian), Peter Kurth (Bruno), Sandra Hüller (Marion), Andreas Leupold (Rudi), Michael Specht (Paletten-Klaus), Steffen Scheumann (Norbert), Ramona Kunze-Libnow (Irina), Sascha Nathan (Johnny), Henning Peker (Wolfgang), Gerdy Zint (Tino); Runtime: 125; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Jochen Laube, Fabian Maubach; Music Box Films; 2018-Gernany-in German with English subtitles)

A workplace drama without much drama but a touching romance.”

A workplace drama without much drama but a touching romance and some endearing comical moments. It offers a favorable view of blue-collar life from the lenses of the privileged. It’s written and directed by German filmmaker Thomas Stuber (“A Heavy Heart”/”Teenage Angst”) with the help of co-writer Clemens Meyer, whose short story the film is based on. The title literally means working the aisles of a giant supermarket.

The drama plays out at a grocery superstore in the former GDR (East Germany).

The reserved but brooding young man Christian (Franz Rogowski) is hired as a night shift worker in the grocery, where the elder Bruno (Peter Kurth), from the beverage department, takes Christian under wing and teaches him how to operate the forklift.

Love at first sight comes for Christian when he encounters the food stacker of Sweet Goods, Marion (Sandra Hüller).Thus begins a cute offbeat romance, where she teasingly calls him “freshling.” He is bashful while still flirting with the married woman. At a Christmas work party she puts her head on his shoulder, which makes things become more serious.

When Christian goes to Marion’s house, we learn something about her domestic life and ponder if there could be a romance between the two likable leads.

The gentle, charming and bittersweet rom/com is fittingly scored to Strauss’ “Blue Danube.”

Sandra Hüller and Franz Rogowski in In den Gängen (2018)

REVIEWED ON 6/11/2019       GRADE: B