This Sunday, RBB is introducing a new police call team that is working out the different types of masculinity. ZDF, on the other hand, is presenting a crime series on Saturday, in the spirit of the contributor, in an exemplary manner, in which only women sit at the conference table and play out the true soul crimes between mothers and daughters. Men are allowed to step up and call out: what’s going on here? and get no answer, or someone bakes them cakes, or they lie dead in the bushes.
Maybe that’s diversity from the Neanderthal, but that’s still great when you can see so many great actresses – Caroline Peters, Natalia Belitski, Karoline Eichhorn and Petra Hartung – at the same time. The body of a young man is found near a drop-out farm on the Brandenburg border. On his necklace is the DNA of a girl who disappeared four years earlier with her newborn, a teenage pregnancy with an unknown father, alleged abuse. Irene Gaup (Peters) led the investigation at the time. Now the file is back on her desk, on the first day with her determined new colleague Julia Jungklausen (Belitski). The somewhat rough characterization by the ZDF prose as “Strong Women” should at least be added that although these two investigators are fifteen years apart, they are completely unpredictable in different ways, so charmingly ageless.
Neither the older woman becomes a cliché here, nor the younger lover and not even the man
But it’s also true that if “Colleagues” weren’t so programmatically a women’s film, you’d cough a bit because of the basic constellation. Then it would look like Irene and Julia were the two wives of the same man. In this film, however, it is rather the case that prosecutor Hans Gaup (Götz Schubert) is the husband of two colleagues.
There is probably no tutorial on the difference, but it can be said quickly that Annette Simon (script) and Vanessa Jopp (director) create a very dry comedy from this constellation instead of rivalry. Neither the older woman with her separation after twenty years of relationship becomes a cliché, nor the younger woman who starts something with the public prosecutor at the yoga weekend, and not even the public prosecutor, who now wears his shirts open but dreams of Irenes Carbonara. At most maybe everyone is a bit confused, but how not.
The elegantly staged comedy takes place alongside a search for a criminal and a rural commune and is interwoven with the older investigator’s life crisis, which is also a mother-daughter thing and the actual theme of the film. “They seem so down-to-earth,” remarks Julia Jungklausen as they drive through Dahlem, where Irene Gaup grew up. “Hard work,” she replies quietly, looking out the window. Because all of this takes place on Crime Saturday, the case booms with a lot of mystery sound in between, as if a tank were being taken for a walk on a dog leash.
And no, men don’t come off badly. Sometimes they’re good, sometimes they’re not, and one is a shaman and is badly needed.
Colleagues – The Bad Child, ZDF, Saturday, 8:15 p.m. and in the ZDF media library.