Toni Kroos: Cinema film about the DFB star tells a lot about the industry football
Toni Kroos splashing with his little son in the swimming pool of his suburban home, an inflatable large plastic unicorn bobbing on the water, in the garden two white rabbits hopping, you can hear the voice of wife Jessica Kroos: "We are already here for almost four years 'I've never been to town, I think.' The city, that is Madrid.
So Toni Kroos, who is currently probably the most prominent German footballer: a loyal father, a family man, one who absolutely needs no bling-bling and sings his wife a serenade a song of the group Pur. He even cleans his football boots himself.
In other words, not a single one to write a 110-minute movie about.
Director Manfred Oldenburg did it anyway. The film is called "Kroos", but he should be called "The Football". Oldenburg wants to tell the story of the German football star Toni Kroos, but one learns more about the industry top football, about their pomp, about their upper heat, about manhood too.
About the main character one learns little, even if Kroos is almost constantly in the picture. What he thinks about the world, about the business of football, about the things of life, does not reveal itself even after one and a half hours on the big screen. The Spanish journalist Santiago Segurola, who has been watching Real Madrid for many years, says in the film: "The people in Spain can not say who this Toni Kroos is as a human being." The cinema audience is then as well. The journalist Paul Ingendaay says: "German craftsmanship, German seriousness, German sunburn - this is Toni Kroos."
A filmmaker for everything
Brother Felix Kroos, a pro with Union Berlin and a certain mischievousness, one of whom might be worth a movie, says a bit fatalistically: "Toni could talk once or twice more about his feelings." But, he says, feelings have not been talked about in the parental home. Toni Kroos has inherited this legacy, and he also knows that in football, it may be helpful to keep some things to yourself. For a documentary, this is less conducive.
Director Oldenburg is an experienced filmmaker, for television he is a kind of documentary filmmaker for everything, he has made films about Stalingrad, Franz-Josef Strauss, the Wembleytor, the Oetkers and Axel Springer. Here he traces his career and career exactly from Kroos, he follows him from Greifswald out into the big world, to Munich and, well, Leverkusen, Belo Horizonte, Madrid. The director and his cameraman always find beautiful, calm pictures, still lifes almost. Oldenburg also has numerous eyewitnesses and star witnesses from their careers, from parents to coaches Jupp Heynckes, Pep Guardiola and Zinedine Zidane, to veteran journalist Marcel Reif and football philosopher Wolfram Eilenberger. Pure football celebrities. But the image of the human Toni Kroos also hardly focus.
Instead, something else is maturing: the realization of how much footballing is played around in football. Kroos is a land surveyor, sometimes a conductor, a genius, sometimes a spiritus rector. As Kroos in the World Cup round match 2018 against Sweden early conceded the goal to 0: 1 and then still the winning goal in injury time, Marcel Reif suggests it almost as a modern hero piece that Kroos has continued to hang into his game after his mistake. Actually, that's a matter of course. "Football is a bubbly nothing," says Eilenberger at one point.
By private jet through the night
The deeper the film submits, the less important the person of Toni Kroo seems. And the brighter the business football comes into the light. Right at the beginning, the director captures images of the international match against Brazil from the spring of 2018 in Berlin: Kroos is chauffeured by a police escort through the city to the airport after the game in the luxury sedan and is still surprised: "Is the escort because of us?" Then he gets into the private jet, which flies him back through the night to Spain. That's normal for him then.
The camera follows Kroos to a Fifa Gala in London, accompanies him through the catacombs of the Festhalle, and creates impressive images of how much entourage the football high society gathers around, how many lucky hunters roam around their heroes. Fifa boss Gianni Infantino must not be missing, who tries to cling to the stars, Kroos is rearranged, touched, adored. But when he wants to get into the taxi, he has to clear his place again. Lionel Messi with his attachment has priority. The hierarchy among superstars.
Oldenburg puts Real President Florentino Perez in front of the camera, who, with every fiber of Patriarch, states in admirable arrogance: "Toni Kroos is one of the players born to play at Real Madrid." When the contract is renewed, the club and player consultants peck at each other, as if it were a pub crawl and not millions, a festival of the open shirt button. Arm wrestling as a handshake.
Robbie Williams brings glamor into the thing
Again and again Oldenburg brings the singer Robbie Williams into the picture, one does not know exactly why. As if the director did not trust his protagonist in terms of glamor enough. The journalist Phillip Selldorf of the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" is asked what they will say in 20 years about Toni Kroos. Selldorf looks into the distance and answers: "Good question."
There is probably no greater contrast in this film than the images from the Bernabeu Stadium with the almost religious rapture of the fans on one side and on the other side the photographs of the terrace in Greifswald, where Kroos' grandparents think about coffee from whom the boy inherited the temperament. The first could be a scene from "Braveheart", the second from "The boy has to go to the fresh air".
In one shot, Kroos is lying on the massage bench, talking to the masseur about this and that and saying, "For me it's all just football." The film tells the opposite.
Kroos, directed by Manfred Oldenburg. From 4 July in the cinema.