Role reversal in Zurich: many women, good “crime scene”?

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Reversal of roles in Zurich
Lots of women, good “crime scene”?

By Julian Vetten

In the fourth joint case of Swiss commissioners Ott and Grandjean, there is more than just equality: from the villainous head of the law firm to the greedy health technology start-up, nearly all roles are taken by women.

Martina Widmer (Theresa Affolter) stands in her wood-clad boardroom and is furious: her carefully constructed house of cards is about to collapse, now the cleaning lady with the vacuum cleaner is annoying too. “Out, out, out,” the lawyer yells, slamming the door behind him. Then the head of the office changed his mind, smashed a vase with full force and called after her cleaning lady: “Mascha, clean up!”

Humiliating power games, extremely tough behavior and a penchant for unscrupulousness: Widmer plays on the same keyboard as the old, white men who are otherwise more used to the executive chairs in movie law firms. Indeed, “the role of star lawyer Widmer was originally created as a man in the script,” reveals “Tatort” director Christine Respond. But “There are already so many movies with older, powerful men, and I thought it was time to tell a role like that with a strong woman.”

But not only this one, but almost all of the lead roles with a few exceptions: “In ‘Risks with Side Effects’, in addition to the female investigator duo, there are also a striking number of women as episodic characters, thanks to the authors Stefanie Veith and Nina Vukovic. They wrote the script. and the constellation of characters created in this way,” says director Respond.

How to clean up the patriarchy?


Almost all key roles here are taken by women: the seriously ill Klara (Anouk Petri) and her mother Dorit (Annina Butterworth).

(Photo: SRF / Sava Hlavacek)

An exciting and (as yet) unknown approach, which unfortunately does not work as well as one would like: “Risks with Side Effects” is simply not a particularly good film: the fourth joint case of the Zurich commissioners Ott (Carol Schuler) and Grandjean (Anna Pieri Zuercher) is full of clichés, the story of a pharmaceutical scandal is very random.

Of course, that’s not because the healthtech startup’s greedy henchman is a healthtech startup’s greedy trulla or the star attorney with a rediscovered conscience comes along as star attorney this time around. But it also shows that simply switching the sexes isn’t enough to turn a mediocre crime thriller into a thrilling affair. And that, unfortunately, is what gets stuck in your head about this “crime scene” experiment. Last week’s Ludwigshafen season opener, which is otherwise not known for subtle nuances, showed how you better clean up with the patriarchy.

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