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|Laufzeit:||Ca. 118 min.|
|FSK:||From 12 years|
For the young lawyer Caspar Leinen (Elyas M‘Barek) it sounds like a spectacular beginning of his career: He is said to have killed the 70-year-old Italian Fabrizio Collini (Franco Nero), who apparently for no reason killed the respected industrial magnate Hans Meyer (Manfred Zapatka). Caspar doesn't know the victim's identity until he's already taken the case. And that becomes a real problem for him, because Meyer was always something like a father to him. Now he has to defend the murderer of his surrogate father, the grandfather of his youthful love Johanna (Alexandra Maria Lara) - and at the same time he has to compete against his former professor, the criminal defence legend Richard Mattinger (Heiner Lauterbach). Since Collini is persistently silent, the case seems lost for Caspar even before the trial has begun. Nevertheless, the lawyer sets about researching the background - and comes across a terrible secret and one of the biggest judicial scandals in German post-war history…
"The Collini Case" is based on the bestseller of the same name by Ferdinand von Schirach. The adaptation by Marco Kreuzpaintner ("Krabat", "Beat") may have been a bit too conventional and in some places even too clichéd, especially for connoisseurs of the successful book template - to which I don't belong. But all in all Kreuzpaintner has staged a truly gripping justice thriller that cleverly combines a fictional story with actual facts from the history of German jurisdiction. The background to this is the so-called Dreher law, which left numerous Nazi crimes unpunished. The story about the murder of an apparently innocent industrial magnate puts a stirring finger on this wound of German post-war history.
One can already call it a risk that Elyas M'Barek was chosen for the leading role. Not that the actor already proved his changeability in numerous movies. But since the enormous success of "Fack Ju Göhte" he has been fixed on a certain type of role, from which the figure of Caspar Leinen differs fundamentally. The fact that he convincingly masters this transformation doesn't come as a surprise, but doesn't necessarily meet the expectations with which many viewers meanwhile go into a movie in which M'Barek plays the leading role.
In some moments the staging might seem a little too carried and too dry. Thus small lengths develop here and there in the course of the approximately two hours running time. But at the end of the day "Der Fall Collini" is well played, atmospherically dense and excitingly told cinema entertainment, which also makes you think. If you can overlook a few badly clichéd characters and a few tough moments, this bestselling film adaptation is also absolutely worth seeing for you!
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