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Jimi Blue Ochsenknecht,
"Vermisst - Alexandra Walch, 17" or "Die letzte Spur - Alexandra, 17 Jahre" or "Vanished" is a German/Austrian German-language movie from 2011, so this one had its 5th anniversary last year. The director and co-writer is Andreas Prochaska and his star has risen a lot recently. As a consequence, I have checked out several of his older works, before his big western film, but by most of these I am fairly underwhelmed. This one here is no exception and I do not really agree with the awards attention it received. The cast includes somewhat known names like Müller, Kramer, Koschitz, Schüle and Steinhauer and even those that aren't so well known include several actors who have had decent success and long careers in the industry.
It is tough to put a finger on what the biggest problems here are. I think it is a combination of several factors. One would be sensationalism. It is not enough that one character disappears, gets killed, but she also must have had an affair with her teacher and then there has to be another dead girl and then the final plot twist at the end, then the dad's violence and there are 2-3 more aspects that just make the film feel like it is missing realism at times. Of course, drama is always good to be added, but they still have to keep it authentic and this is not the case here in my opinion. Maybe they should have kept it at 120 hours max and much more essential because this one is a 2-part movie that runs for slightly over 3 hours as a whole and that is a lot. Another problem is that it's the generic stuff like he is suspicious, then we find out he has an alibi, then the next character is suspicious and honestly they lacked proper elaboration on all these characters. It was just one character after the other being pushed into suspicion zone.
And sadly, then the film isn't showy or dramatic for the sake of it it is also not a particularly good watch. The worried/grieving parents were early on actually pretty nicely displayed and I was especially surprised that I liked Kramer because generally I don't think a lot of her at all. But the longer the film goes the worse it becomes already. I guessed the killer correctly too fairly quickly, so the suspense aspect just isn't working either as at some point basically she was the only one who could have done it, even if towards the end we are led to believe it was somebody other. As a whole, I think this could have been a much better work. But like I wrote in the title. This is perhaps what happens when Germany/Austria tries to be Eastwood. This film has a lot of weaknesses unfortunately and these definitely overshadow the film's strengths, mostly the performances, maybe also the direction. Yet the latter being better than the weaknesses does not mean by any definition that they are awards-worthy. I give this small screen double feature a thumbs-down. Not recommended.
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