The story of Love In Thoughts begins with Paul Krantz (Daniel Bruhl), a young aspiring poet from working class roots, being questioned by police. The film then flashes back to show Paul and his good college friend Günther Scheller (August Diehl), and openly gay libertine from a wealthy family. Günther invites Paul to his parents’ summer house. There, Paul meets Günther’s sister Hilde (Anna Maria Mühe), and falls in love with her. Hilde, however, doesn’t want the restriction of a relationship, and is currently having a passionate affair with Hans Stephan (Thure Lindhardt), who works at a nightclub. Hans, however, has previously had a relationship with Günther, and Günther continues to have feelings for him.
With romantic tension high, Günther and Hilde decide to have a wild party. They invite a large crowd to their house, drink, have absinthe hallucinations, create a bonfire, and have sex with each other. As the party comes to a close, it becomes clear that Hilde and Hans are going to stay together, and Paul and Günther are both in despair. Still under the influence of the alcohol they drank at the party, the characters go back to Berlin, and Paul and Günther make a suicide pact to kill themselves and the people they feel have taken love from them. The film closes with the sound of gunshots from Günther’s parents’ Berlin apartment.
“Based on the once-notorious “Steglitz Student Tragedy” of 1927, period drama “Love In Thoughts” applies a heavy dose of swoony, doomed romanticism to tale of five youths whose tangled passions end in murder and suicide.”
— Dennis Harvey, Variety
“An elegantly-crafted portrait of the romantic illusions, unrequited yearnings and petulant selfishness of youth.”
“A taut and exciting thriller that deserves a much bigger audience than it will ever receive.”
Did You Know?
The real-life incident that Love In Thoughts was based on was called the Steglitz Student Tragedy, and occurred in the summer of 1927. While the film leaves the ending unresolved, in the actual incident, Günther shot Hans and then himself, while Paul didn’t go through with his end of the pact, which was to kill himself and Hilde. Paul only spent a week in prison for illegally possessing a firearm, but the case drew the nation’s attention, and was considered an example of the moral decay of German society. Review our Gay Themed Films Here