I’ve just spent the last couple of hours watching Rubinrot, a German young-adult film set in London. It’s about a girl who discovers that she’s able to travel through time. Rubinrot was first a young adult novel by Kerstin Gier, the first in a trilogy, but has been translated into English, now called Ruby Red.
Gwendolyn Shepherd (Maria Ehrich) turns sixteen and starts having dizzy spells. When one of these dizzy spells takes her back a few hundred years, Gwen thinks she’s going insane. It soon turns out that she’s actually inherited a special gene that allows her to travel through time for short stretches.
In the movie, Gwen’s cousin Charlotte (Laura Berlin) was the one who was supposed to inherit the gene, and has spent the last sixteen years becoming the family favourite. Because obviously a family can’t have two favourites, Gwen is the black sheep and is treated accordingly by everyone but her mother, brother and Great Aunt Maddy.
Despite her limited number of appearances, Maddy would have to be my favourite character. She’s like a Professor Trelawny minus the bullshit, then add a sweet tooth and some crazy.
Seeing as it’s a young adult movie there is of course a romantic interest. Gideon (Jannis Niewöhner) is a major butthead, but for some reason Gwen likes him. It might be because he’s super cute, although the random pony tail leaves something to be desired. Most of the film I was hoping there would be a makeover montage where Gideon’s rat’s tail gets the chop, but to no avail. So save yourselves the disappointment and accept it, or at least look away when it comes on screen.
One of the fantastic things about Gwen is that she’s brilliantly clumsy. Somehow, she was able to trip and spill her schoolbag without taking a single step or moving even a little bit. One moment she’s standing, bag secure, next she’s on the ground and the contents of her bag strewn everywhere. I don’t understand it, but I am entertained.
As the story moves along we discover there are some secrets that The Order (the group of pompous faces who organise the time travellers) have been keeping… secret. Gwen takes it upon herself to learn the truth. Unsurprisingly she finds herself in a few dangerous situations and meets a few nasty characters. At one point Gwen is hurt quite badly and ends up in the infirmary, only just hanging on to life. The next morning she is prescribed with tea. Yep, that’ll fix it.
Without having read the book I feel that I’m missing out on some of the finer details. The movie certainly left itself open to the next two books in the trilogy, which means there are some loose ends that aren’t explained.
I’m not going to give any of the plot away, so you’ll have to check it out yourself, but it’s definitely worth your time for a bit of fun. Be on the lookout for the slightly unexpected pop songs that make sudden appearances.
Oh! And I almost forgot to mention the Dylan O’Brien look alike…