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Mario Adorf was the great Bellheim, Bruno Ganz is the great Kater. And people keep repeating it a couple times in the film, so we won't forget. The translation means the great male cat and is a wordplay on Ganz' character's name in this 85 minute movie. In his most famous portrayal, he played the German Reichsfuehrer Adolf Hitler and here, in this movie from 5 years ago, he plays the Swiss prime minister. The cast has quite a few known names if you know a bit about German cinema: Ulrich Tukur, Antoine Monot, Edgar Selge, Justus von Dohnányi, Christiane Paul and Marie Bäumer. The latter two, I am usually not too big on. They have good characters because of their looks, more than great acting talent in my opinion, especially Bäumer.
The movie is based on a novel and the writers who adapted it already collaborated on "Das Wilde Leben", the Uschi Obermaier biopic. "Der grosse Kater" deals with several issues. Political intrigues are in the center, but it's also about being a good father and husband, about a royal visit, about professional relationships and about cancer. There was one disturbing scene when, in one of Kater's flashbacks to his youth, a man kills a kitten. This somehow predicts Kater's fate, at least his professional future. All in all, I recommend this movie, but I am not too neutral as Ganz is among my favorite actors. If this is not the case for you and you don't care about films on politics, you may give this one a pass.
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