In Hessen region Taunus's zoo, posthumously severed adult male limbs are found in different animal cages. Director Christoph Sander points at vandalizing animal rights activist, popular ... See full summary »
"Schneewittchen muss sterben" or Snow White must die" is a German television movie from 2013, so this one will have its 5th anniversary next year. The director is Manfred Stelzer and the script is by Henriette Piper who adapted Nele Neuhaus' book for the small screen here. The two lead actors are Felicitas Woll and this movie takes place in Hesse, in the Taunus area and as such it is one of many recent German television crime films that are closely connected to the region they take place. But actually, it is not one of these. It is advertised as a "Taunuskrimi", but there is nothing to the characters or the story where one would say that the film could not have taken place anywhere else in Germany. Another thing that is missing entirely is the local comedy about that region. Or are they implying that people there don't have much sense of humor. The final scene with the ex-wife was somewhat situational comedy, but this was just a desperate attempt to make people forget about the entire lack of comedy before that.
So, this would not be a problem if the film delivered in terms of drama, crime, maybe even thriller, but it's also not hitting the right mark there, not at all. All the Snow White references do not feel authentic or realistic at all, just for the sake of it. The female cop being raped in the past at some point is an addition that adds very little and could have been left out, a desperate attempt in getting more depth to the character. As for the male protagonist, the insight into his family life was slightly better, but also not on the level where it is good enough to make up for all the weaknesses. The solution who did it eventually is just another disappointment and part of it was predictable to be honest, at least the twins' involvement with it all. So yeah, it certainly is pretty shocking to see that they made several other films about this cop duo, even if Woll and Bergmann are not necessarily bad. Then again, I am perhaps doing this series injustice if they stepped things up afterward. At some point I will maybe give more films about von Bodenstein and Kirchhoff a look, but not anytime soon. Then again, looking at other works by Stelzer and Piper, it cannot really be considered a surprise really how weak this one turned out. It is probably even closer to a */***** than to a ***/*****. Still, to end the review on a positive note I would like to say that the final shot with Sartorius and Fröhlich meeting again was kinda well done. Everything else was not. Watch something else instead.
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