Abgestürzt" or crashed" how else could it have ended?
Abgestürzt", literally crashed", and the perfect title for the final episode of the Mini-Series Monaco Franze". Franz has decided against moving with his wife to the Caribbean, rather staying with his buddy Manni (brilliant as always, the unforgotten Karl Obermeyr) in Munich. As Franz has stated in the prior episode, Munich is the city he was born in, grew up, lived and hopes to die, but his decision comes with a price: missing his wife, his "Spatz'l" ("Sparrow"), Franz spirals downward into alcoholism, culminating in him accidentally burning Mannis apartment down and ending on the street, a derelict, drunk or, as they say in Munich, a "sandler" ("a bum with dignity"). Hearing about her husbands' plight, Annette returns from her sunny refuge in the Caribbean herself driven to hitting the bottle because she's sick and tired of the incessant good weather, lack of seasons, pretentious people and artificial environment to search for Franz in the darker end of the backyard-bars in Munich (ironically behind the "Viktualienmarkt", where Franz himself had gone luxury-shopping not too long ago). Reunited, Franz and Annette await the dawn. Annette reminds her husband that this is their 20th anniversary and Franz assures her that from now on all will be "wunderbar" (wonderful).
Indeed, how else could and should it have ended? The final episode of "Monaco Franze", though it still has its humorous moments, is easily the most touching of the entire show. Not only is the sense of commitment that this couple has, despite all flaws and differences in character, very emotional but it's also the chemistry between the actors Ruth-Maria Kubitschek and Helmut Fischer that made them the ultimate screen-couple of their time.
The last line of the film, the promises of everything being different from now on and a "better" future is pure genius. Like Annette we, the viewer, know fully well that Franz will never change and that is one of the aspects that makes him such a lovable character like they say in this part of the world, an "original".
Director Helmut Dietl was wise keep his series to a minimum of ten episodes. Unlike many contemporary series, who will try to milk a successful formula until the last (bored) viewer turns the light off, Dietl didn't outstay his welcome and knew when to quit and the best time to quit is when everything is said. Sad that many modern producers seem to have forgotten that.
Sure, many viewers would have wished for a little more, having grown accustomed to Franze, Annette and the rest of the characters, but would a continuation have brought? As said, Franz will continue as ever, go through the highs and the lows, the good times and the bad times and if there would have been any major change, well he wouldn't be Monaco Franze. Of course Dietl and Süskind could have come up with other, more outrageous story lines, which in the end-effect would only have cheated the viewer and eventually demolished the (deserved) cult-status of the series. Instead we have ten episodes that today are as enjoyable as they were more than 30 years ago. Not an easy feat but that is what divides directors and writers like Dielt and Süskind from the hacks.
A sentimental 10 from 10.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?