Barely recognised: Elyas M'Barek in Bully's new film '1000 Linien': Theatrical release: September 29th, 2022

Cinema & TV

Writed by - Andy Gocker
  '1000 Lines' with Elyas M'Barek
'1000 Lines' by Michael Bully Herbig with Elyas M'Barek © Warner Bros. Entertainment GmbH, Marco Nagel

by Mireilla Zirpins

Do you remember the Relotius case, the 'Spiegel' author who invented large parts of his award-winning reports? If not - not bad either: Michael 'Bully' Herbig tells you the story in an extremely entertaining hour and a half, with Elyas M'Barek ('Fack ju Göhte') and Jonas Nay ('Deutschland 83') in the leading roles. And if you hadn't known that he was playing, you would only have recognized Elyas M'Barek in his slouchy look at second glance.

Mirror scandal as a film - that sounds unsexy, but it's not with Bully Herbig

  Elyas M'Barek in 1000 Zeilen
Elyas M'Barek in 1000 Lines © Warner Bros. Entertainment GmbH

1000 lines - that doesn't sound really sexy at first, like filmed magazine pages and guys in suits. It goes without saying that people like us journalists like to watch a film about how someone gets rid of his fat that has permanently damaged the reputation of our guild. Especially now that more and more angry citizens are denouncing us as a “lying press”. But why should people watch this film who perhaps don't even read Der Spiegel? Well, because Bully, sorry: Michael Herbig can be funny and serious and has two great main actors who tell us the whole thing in a very humorous way - in such a way that there is always real action on the screen. Even if you are new to the industry, you can quickly find yourself in the snazzy world of the respected magazine, which is called “Chronicle” here.

You only recognize Elyas M'Barek at second glance as the disheveled reporter Juan Moreno, who is called Juan Romero in the film. Because he looks like we know him from all the journalistic clichés in other films: greasy leather jacket, three-day beard, greasy long hairstyle. He is so diligent as a writer that he hardly ever sees his wife and four children. Of course he's a bit jealous of Claas Relotius, sorry: Lars Bogenius (Jonas Nay). He's a real 'truffle pig', always has the cover story, is the only one to have an interview with the people of the moment and is always there when a trouble spot just arises. And he always looks so good in his business administration clothes, as if he were only working at his desk - just like the slick editorial managers who like to rationalize scribblers away and promote each other. There are plenty of those too - uh, in the movies, of course.

Who deserves our sympathy in '1000 Lines'? Not easy!

  Jonas Nay as the writer Bogenius in"1000 Zeilen" von Michael Bully Herbig
Jonas Nay as the writer Bogenius in '1000 Lines' © Warner Bros. Entertainment GmbH

Herbig doesn't make it easy for us to hate writer nerd Bogenius and like journo underdog Romero, if only because they are both our narrators. We sympathize when Romero fights on the right side as a journalist and always looks down the drain when it comes to promotions: 'The only one who didn't know anything about it was me: I put my children to bed.' Sounds more self-sacrificing now than we Romero im Watch Movie: As a husband and father, he keeps failing. He never listens to his wife, even when she jokes that she'll have to suck off the bank manager to get the loan for her blogger studio. And when Romero is caught fare dodging, he forgets one of his four children on the bus.

Model reporter Bogenius, on the other hand, always seems so sweetly shy when he is nominated for all the awards and even defends older colleagues from the choleric department heads. In his dreams he is the James Bond among journalists. But we also see a totally insecure, inhibited type with a fear of failure. And don't we feel a little bad if we have doubts about his accounts of how he cares for his sister who has cancer? And didn't the quota-hungry department heads push him a little bit to deliver even more sensational stories?

One and a half hours of excellent entertainment at its finest

Herbig finds glossy images for our everyday life as journalists (thank you for that!), even for what goes on in the minds of Romero and Bogenius. And they show us impressively how quickly our imagination runs away with us, how close truth and fiction can be to each other. Sometimes that's quite striking, but alas. An hour and a half that makes you think and always offers excellent entertainment.

Stream even more filmed events on RTL+

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The white silence - a fictional story inspired by the 'death nurse' Niels Högel

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