‘Freaks: You’re One of Us’: German superhero caper lets Netflix down

The German work “Freaks: You’re One of Us” is directed by Felix Binder and penned by Marc O. Seng. (Netflix)
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Updated 17 September 2020

‘Freaks: You’re One of Us’: German superhero caper lets Netflix down

CHENNAI: Comic books have created a world of supermen and superwomen who have mesmerized generations.  When Spiderman crawls up skyscrapers or Batman vanquishes evil, they inspire awe. They emerged from comics to land on silver screens giving us endless hours of excitement.

However, some superheroes have grappled with their identity on screen, often feeling different or even freakish.

This is the core, underlying theme in the German work “Freaks: You’re One of Us,” directed by Felix Binder and penned by Marc O. Seng, now streaming on Netflix. It underscores how they are sidelined by society, their powers suppressed. 

Wendy (Cornelia Groschel) is one such woman. Totally unaware of her enormous power, she leads a mundane life with husband Lars (Frederic Linkemann) and son Karl (Finnlay Berger). Her boss, Angela (Gisa Flake) at the diner where she works is nasty but luck strikes when Wendy realizes that she is no ordinary human being, her unbelievable strength has been kept suppressed.

It takes a homeless man with superhuman abilities for Wendy to wake up from her slumber. He jumps from a bridge and is run over by a truck, but gets up without a scratch. Wendy is spellbound. A series of incidents push her to test her own strength, like, for instance, bashing up three drunken troublemakers or ticking off school bullies who worry Karl. We root for her as the underdog-turned-hero plot reaches its zenith. 

But, sadly, little happens in the second half of this Netflix adventure. The action begins to look tame and the high-octane scenes seem oddly lackluster with the once ominous Dr Stern (Nina Kunzendorf) losing her fear factor.

While the editing is crisp, the writing lets the script down in a film that does little to present its protagonist’s unimaginable prowess in an exhilarating way.


Egypt collector accumulated over 100 vintage cars

Updated 28 October 2020

Egypt collector accumulated over 100 vintage cars

  • Among the famous figures who once rode one of Sima’s cars was former Egyptian president Anwar El-Sadat
  • Sima’s oldest car is an Auburn which he acquired in the 1980s

CAIRO: Sayed Sima says he was around 25 years old when he began collecting vintage cars, attracted by their beauty and rarity. They were also relatively cheap.
More than half a century later Sima, a nickname derived from the Egyptian slang for cinema, says he now owns hundreds of vintage cars, some of which he keeps in Egypt’s Media Production City where directors often rent the antiques for shows and films.


Sima’s oldest car is an Auburn which he acquired in the 1980s.
“This is of course a very rare car, a car that is entirely a piece of antique,” he said, while sitting in the Auburn showcasing its wooden frame and steel coating.
“Its original tank is still inside. It’s a beautiful car. Its structure is all wood.”
Sima remains fascinated by the way older cars operate.
His 38-year-old son, Ayman, shares this peculiar passion. He grew up seeing his father’s cars in movies.


“I also liked how I saw these cars on movie screens. I would see a movie and think, oh it is our car,” he said.
Among the famous figures who once rode one of Sima’s cars was former Egyptian president Anwar El Sadat, whose presidential car was a black 1975 Chevrolet Impala, said Sima.