Under fire: Inspector Felix Voss (Fabian Hinrichs) and Eva Hentschel (Sina Martens), Toni's sister. Photo: H. Heiden/BR H. heiden/BR ©
Not much was known about the private life, the past of "Tatort" commissioner Felix Voss. This is now changing with the visually powerful crime thriller "Hochamt für Toni". The ninth case for the Franconian team confronts the investigator played by Fabian Hinrichs with the fate of his great love.
The landscape is wide, the villages are deserted, houses and museums – it is in such an ambience that the makers have set this ARD "Tatort". This film takes place far away from the big city, and even police (routine) work is just a distant noise here, as if every automatism, every cheap action had to stay outside.
Which doesn't mean that nothing happens behind the facades – those of the buildings and those of the people. From the very first minute, "Hochamt für Toni" brings viewers closer than ever to Felix Voss (Fabian Hinrichs), the detective who once seemed to have come to Franconia out of nowhere, without a story of his own. He has one, as it turns out, and this story is very cleverly combined by screenwriter Bernd Lange with the well-built case. The investigation into the mysterious murder of a priest, an old friend, catapults Voss into his youth, she confronts the policeman with the fate of his great love, scion of an industrialist family, as it is written in the book.
The Hentschels seem almost surreal, as if from another era – the patriarch, his wife, his sons, his younger daughter, the castle, the park, the servants. As if with a gold rim, quite calmly and far from any flat agitation, Lange tells of a failed emancipation, of the "value" of a woman in an entrepreneurial dynasty, and also subtly paints a picture of a world in which problems are solved with power, money, and, if necessary, with violence.
Director Michael Krummenacher finds beautiful, harmonious tableaux for it, marries hunting rifle and laptop, shows the lonely detective, wounded in body and soul in the front and the apparatus that has his back in the background. The script and direction can rely on consistently good actors, above all Dagmar Manzel's Paula Ringelhahn as a close, almost maternal counterpart to the distant ex-lover, as well as Marita Breuer as an industrialist's wife and Sina Martens as Eva and Toni Hentschel.
The final image is strong – the encounter between Voss and his past. For a brief moment, time stops, makes you pause and remember.