Television Review Tatort "Maleficius": Two bodies and Lena Odenthal

A doctor and a priest die in cruel circumstances. The leads lead to a researcher who wants to "optimize" the brains. In the thirtieth year of service of television commissioner Odenthal, the thriller "Maleficius" raises the question of when modern medicine hurts.

Professor Bordauer has a dangerous dream. The neuroscience researcher wants to "repolarize" pedophiles, cure Alzheimer's disease and give up Blade – with the help of artificial intelligence and high technology in the head. He wants to save lives and go on corpses.

What can medicine do? This question is very topical in an aging society. "Maleficius" is the name of the "crime scene" broadcast Sunday at 8:15 pm on the first Sunday. Commissioner Lena Odenthal (Ulrike Folkerts), the "oldest crime scene", and her team enter a whole new world of investigation.

That's it

An abandoned wheelchair at the Ludwigshafener Rheinufer suggests the suicide of a paraplegic. But in search of the missing, the river releases another body: a murdered doctor, once in the service of Bordauer. Sebastian Bezzel interprets the researcher as a casual genie with a t-shirt, undermining the general idea of ​​what a scientist should look like. But Bordauer may be gentle in tone, but hard on the subject. Human is only the shell of this teacher. This is not even enough for a first name.

"The Bordauer Clinic is more sterile than a computer chips factory than a men's hospital, where the brain reigns and the heart has been lost," said director Tom Bohn. "We have chosen this radical tool to clarify what our world could look like if we rely on research and absolute conviction in the future of many of our contemporaries."

Photo: SWR / Sabine Hackenberg

The actors are those who give the sometimes predictable story more elegance. Ulrike Folkerts acts as usual with cool round-lens sunglasses. At his side, the employee Johanna Stern (Lisa Bitter) emancipates after the departure of the grumpy investigator Mario Kopper (Andreas Hoppe). Heinz Hoenig as a pastor of the hospital and Dominique Chiout as an employee of Bordauer are pushing the action at the right time. Gregor Bloéb is a wonderful cast, an ironic parody of a half-world size, with a bold charm and cold eyes like a shark.

Bloéb alias Ali Kaymaz directs a development workshop that uses director Bohn in "Maleficius" as a dramaturgical hinge. Bordauer repairs heads, Kaymaz vehicles. Or, as Odenthal says, "One man, the other brain." This is a stark contrast: on the one hand, the cold world of a machine, a clinic, on the other hand, the almost criminal world of car screwdrivers.

Photo: SWR / Sabine Hackenberg

"Freaks tinkering with superman"

An even stronger contrast lies in the events taking place in the hospital itself. The Latin "evil" means "vicious", among the brothers Grimm Malefiz was a witch. "Maleficus" can also be translated as "impious", and it is in this "crime scene" probably signified by the modified "Maleficius".

Bordauer plays God, the director Bohn shines the blood on the operating table with the blood of Jesus on the cross in the chapel of the clinic. While Pastor Hoenig calls for more humility before creation, the curator speaks of "monsters working on Superman".

Photo: SWR / Sabine Hackenberg

In some places, this "crime scene" dares a lot. When Folkerts whispers thoughtfully to the piano music "They also want to disenchant the last spell" and enthuse for "cars without electronic decor", that does not quite do justice to the complex subject of intelligence artificial. Spectacular is a surgical robot, the spider leg resembling an insect descending from the ceiling (production: Andreas C. Schmid).

Bohn understands the film as a warning. "It's a warning that some technologies can fall into the wrong hands if they are used," said the director. "This is the case of genetic engineering – and the same goes for brain research." (Wolfgang Jung, dpa)