Quick recap: A little boy, growing up during World War II, receives a tin drum for his 3rd birthday. After seeing how the adults around him are incredibly stupid, he decides to throw himself down the stairs in order to stop growing. That was a completely true recap by the way, and not at ALL what the movie is about.
Fun (?) fact: Oklahoma County……in Oklahoma, banned this movie in 1997 based off of one controversial scene. All copies were confiscated and one person was even threatened with prosecution for being in possession of the film. The ruling was overturned later on.
My thoughts: So. I’m not really sure what Germany has against me, but The Tin Drum is now the second film from that country to traumatize me and make me rethink why I am even doing this project. For starters:
1. The opening scene features a man running away from police. He spies a woman in a potato field and begs her to let him hide underneath her skirts so he won’t get caught. She obliges and ends up sitting on him and they have sex.
2. The child conceived from that encounter grows up and falls for two men. She sleeps with both of them on a continuous basis so it’s not really known who Oskar’s father is.
3. Oskar, 3 years old at the time , makes himself fall down the cellar stairs so that he may never have to grow up. Throughout the whole movie he carries around a tin drum and beats on it when he is unhappy or angry.
4. There is a scene where a horse head washes up on shore and one of the men takes the eels from the head and cooks them. He is then hurt when his wife refuses to eat Rotted Horse Head Eels.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
Now you are probably thinking to yourself 1) Those crazy Germans and their movies! and 2) This won’t stop me from celebrating Oktoberfest and 3) why is Oklahoma so uptight?
Bear with me here: The boy who plays Oskar was 11 years old at the time of the film. During the film, Oskar has the body of a 3 year old but chronologically he gets older. So that means that when he becomes a teenager, he has sexual desires. Even though he looks like a 3 year old. See where I’m going with this? So, there are a few scenes where Oskar falls in love with a 15 year old who comes to live with his father after his mother dies (she became obsessed with eating raw fish after the eel incident and got food poisoning). Although nothing is shown explicitly, it is insinuated he (the 11 year old playing a chronological 16 year old but looking like a 3 year old) performs oral sex on the girl and he can be seen under the covers having sex with her a little later on. They conceive a child together through this.
I’m still not sure what the meaning of the movie is. I read that it had something to do with the infantilism of adults and the Nazi party, but I felt like I would be smited (smote?) if I thought about this film too long so I stopped analyzing it.
Final review: 1/5. There is probably some watch list out there for people who enjoyed this movie. Not falling for that one!
Up next: Breakfast at Tiffany’s