Germany’s king of comedy films, Matthias Schweighöfer has ventured out into a totally different direction and made an extremely dark thriller TV show about the dangers of our hyperconnected world. As the leading actor, director and producer of Germany’s first original Amazon series You Are Wanted, Matthias lives through everyone’s worst nightmare – getting hacked…
Germany's capital Berlin in the here and now: Lukas Franke (Matthias Schweighöfer) has everything he could ever dream of: A great career as a hotel manager, a lovely house in a quiet suburb just outside of the city, a loving wife (Alexandra Maria Lara) and an adorable little son.
But on one fateful night, Franke becomes the victim of a brutal cyber attack. As he carelessly downloads the attachment of a seemingly harmless email, all his personal data is hacked.
With the hackers now stealing and very professionally manipulating his data, the police and even the German BKA (Federal Criminal Police) believe there is enough evidence to suspect that Franke is planning a terror attack.
Lukas keeps on emphasizing that he has nothing to do with all this, but even his family and closest friends now start to doubt his innocence…
However, instead of giving in to his fate, Lukas decides to fight back. He now pulls all the strings he can to find out who exactly is ruining his life…
Just as Who am I – No system is safe (2014), another, brilliantly done German hacker movie, You Are Wanted is set in Germany's capital Berlin.
During the first episode, we learn that Lukas is working as a Hotel Manager for the Waldorf Astoria. His office is situated in a shiny skyscraper building opposite the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, which we see through the windows of Lukas' office. After the church was severely damaged in a bombing raid during the Second World War, its damaged spire was not restored on purpose, so it will serve as a reminder of the terrible war.
In 1963, US President John F. Kennedy said in a speech in West Berlin: “All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin. And therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words ‘Ich bin ein Berliner!’ ” This was a symbolic saying of course because after the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961, only one half of Berlin’s population lived in the free West, while the other half was completely and utterly unfree.
Today, it is the Internet that can make people unfree, even ruin their lives…And as You Are Wanted points out, this can happen to anyone.
I must admit that the first two episodes didn't exactly blow me away… But at the end of the episode 2, things suddenly got A LOT more exciting…
This is when Lukas Franke decides to fight back and not let himself be the victim any longer. Moreover, the characters are becoming incredibly dynamic. The ones you thought were definitely the bad guys in the beginning may not be the bad guys after all… and vice versa.
With such recent scandals of the 2016 US elections having possibly been manipulated by Russian hackers, hacking remains a topic that is very relevant to everyone today. It's also a way of modern spying. In some areas of life, observing and tracking people through their data can be a very good thing, for example to stop actual terrorists from carrying out a planned attack. But, as the series will teach you, the downside is of course that anyone can become a "terrorist", even if you have nothing to hide…
The final verdict:
Although I prefer to see Matthias Schweighöfer and Alexandra Maria Lara in uplifting comedies such as RubbeldieKatz (2011), this suspense-packed thriller series got better and better with every episode. In the end, binge watching was unavoidable!
**** 4 out of 5 stars