“If you want to know the character of a person, give him power,” said Abraham Lincoln. This also applies to Julia Grosz (Franziska Weisz), who has just been promoted to Federal Police Chief Commissioner, in the Hamburg “Tatort”. In her new position, she leads an explosive mission in which her previously higher-ranking colleague Thorsten Falke (Wotan Wilke Möhring) is demoted to an errand boy.
While Grosz, supported by the digitally networked team at the headquarters, leads and follows the operation in front of screens – a million dollar sum is handed over by an undercover investigator to a Russian gun dealer with the aim of gaining access – Falke is one of the on-site forces with no overview, who are sent on the chase. The almost aggressive nervousness of the new boss approaches the tipping point when something goes wrong. “Should I break off?” She asks the detective director Reetz. “You are in charge, it is your decision,” replies this. A little later, everything literally blows up – and Julia Grosz faints.
The episode “Power of the Family”, written and staged by Niki Stein, is not interested in perpetrators because they are literally too high for the police here. Tidying up the world, averting damage – that cannot succeed. A civil servant, a native Kurd, loyal servant of the German state, husband and father, has to sacrifice his life. We find out right at the beginning when his coffin, covered with the federal flag, is lifted from an airplane by colleagues in uniform, including a Falke. It follows, as is usually the case in tension-driven television films, the flashback to what has happened so far and with it the actual plot.
Their aim is, sometimes in the style of a fast-paced chamber play, to bring together character studies. The scrutinizing gaze is initially directed at Julia Grosz, whose tension, intertwined with boss behavior, which she only gradually sheds, is brought to the point by Franziska Weisz. Wotan Wilke Möhring is allowed to play Thorsten Falke with emotional amplitude, from outbursts of anger at work to silent apprehension as a father at home (the son moves out and moves in with his – older – girlfriend). The motif of the softly pounded macho offers little surprise: Falke has long since grown up. The hurried, pressed communication between the two inspectors sometimes makes it difficult to understand what is hissing between the teeth.
More interesting than the regular cast is Marija Timofejew, in whose role Tatiana Nekrasov makes a strong performance – even though her character seems richly thought-out. As the offspring of an almost tsarist gun dealer clan from Russia, whose members are constantly throwing quotes from Tolstoi and Chekhov about their education, she switched sides and shaved felons in the red-light district as an undercover investigator for the State Criminal Police Office. Falke knows her from his time at the LKA and wants to bring her into position against her own family if the case is on the brink. His colleagues suspect that blood is thicker than water.
Whether Marija remains loyal to the law or bows to the “power of the family” is actually the only puzzle that has to be solved in this thriller between melodrama and coolness. Cinematographer Arthur W. Ahrweiler finds images of technoid flair and rural romanticism, just the emptiness of many scenes reminds one of Corona. That is quite beneficial. If one removes the genealogical ornamental clothing of the story, there is not much left of the plot that is heading towards a bloodbath. Thanks to its inner coherence, “Power of the Family” is still worth seeing.
The Crime scene: power of the family runs on Sunday at 8.15 p.m. in the first.
#Tatort #Hamburg #blown