It is sometimes hard to review a movie that does everything very well but that just does not connect. The German fable Krabat is one such movie. David Kross is Krabat a young beggar who at the end of the 30 Years war in German answers a call from a dark sorcerer, played by Christian Redl. He is given a chance to be one of the 12 apprentices for the sorcerer. Krabat works hard and is accepted into the ranks and on the night of his initiation he is told by fellow apprentice Tonda, played by Daniel Brühl to leave as everything isn’t as it seems. Also on this night he finds out that Tonda has fallen in love with one of the local village girl and he himself meets a girl and falls for her immediately. Tonda tells him to never let the sorcerer know the girls name as she will be killed by him.
Later that year the sorcerer finds out the name of Tonda’s love and she does indeed die and Tonda decides to leave. Tonda attempts to leave but he is killed before leaving the mill house. Krabat soon discovers that each year the sorcerer trades the life of one of his apprentices to the reaper so that he can remain alive. The remainder of the movie is spent with Krabat seeking a way to escape and to be with the girl he has fallen in love with.
The special effects in Krabat are top notch, the story is a solid fable which will delight and scare young adults and the majority of the acting is fairly strong with the exception of David Kross. He is the weakest link in Krabat and while he is not bad enough to really complain about he didn’t bring much extra to the role. I went in expecting somewhat of a Harry Potter movie and in some ways it felt like it suffered under the same problems which those movies suffer from. The movie is a bit dark in tone but not dark enough for my tastes. When you consider that there are 12 other apprentices plus the sorcerer and 2 love interests there are a few too many characters to really get attached to any of them. The only exception would be Tonda whom I found to be a fairly compelling character and was performed very well by Daniel Brühl.