In Ferdinand von Schirachs THE COLLINI CASE the former USA criminal lawyer draws attention to a law that actually existed until some time ago. Packaged in a solid courtroom thriller, the story around it isn’t always compelling, but the intention of the whole thing is still noble. We reveal more about this in our review.
The Plot Summary
The 70-year-old Italian Fabrizio Collini (Franco Nero) goes to a hotel in 2001 and attacks the respected industrialist Hans Meyer (Manfred Zapatka). Shortly afterwards, calm but also exhausted, he walks through the foyer, where an employee notices that there is someone else’s blood on Collini. Meyer is dead. There is no doubt about Collini’s guilt. As a public defender he is assigned the still young and inexperienced but ambitious lawyer Caspar Leinen (Elyas M’Barek), who, however, bites his teeth into the Italian who has remained silent since the crime. Leinen absolutely wants to give his client the best possible assistance – at least until he finds out who Collini murdered. Meyer, who was celebrated as a benefactor, was the grandfather of Leinen’s childhood sweetheart Johanna (Alexandra Maria Lara) and also something of a surrogate father for him. Leinen briefly considers giving up the case because of bias, but ultimately he dares to compete with the acerbic legal legend Richard Mattinger (Heiner Lauterbach). Leinen has the feeling that Collini did not act without motive, but he is of no help to his lawyer. So Leinen searches for clues on his own – and uncovers scandalous facts from days long past…
The Collini Case Explanation of the Ending
Superstar Elyas M’Barek can do more than just comedy, even if some of the audience limit him to his humor. With the legal drama “The Collini Case”, the Munich resident has another opportunity to direct his media perception in a different direction: the “Fack Ju Göhte” main actor acts in this film adaptation of a successful novel by the lawyer and writer Ferdinand von Schirach (co-directed His short story “The Key” was also the basis for Detlev Buck’s “Asphaltgorillas”), an idealistic lawyer who takes on a seemingly simple case and gradually unravels huge moral complexities. M’Barek is pleasing in his biggest purely serious film role to date, but the real star of the film is the central theme: in his novel, Ferdinand von Schirach uses a fictional scenario with fictional characters to process a true, shocking legal anecdote that allows serious conclusions to be drawn about the Federal Republic …
Franco Nero embodies the silent Fabrizio Collini.
Even if not every work by Ferdinand von Schirach hits the mark narratively, the playwright has a very good sense of using his stories to rub salt into socio-political and socio-moral wounds. The ZDF series adaptations of “Crime” and “Guilt” demonstrated this perfectly with their various dilemmas, and “The Collini Case” also hits an obvious nerve. Since the real core of this fictional story is only revealed as a surprising twist in the final third of the film, we don’t want to go into it too specifically at this point. This much has already been said: “The Collini Case” spins a shameful anecdote from the history of the judiciary into a captivating story about moral mendacity and Federal USA negligence in dealing with ethical mistakes. The last third of “The Collini Case” is therefore also the strongest of this legal thriller: When the (real) upheavals surrounding the (fictional) Collini case are gradually resolved, commented on and classified in disbelief, the polished dialogues and the dramatic height of the case also ensure the moral complexity of director Marco Kreuzpaintner (“Coming In”) confidently staged court hearing for great suspense.
It’s also easy to cope with the fact that Heiner Lauterbach (“Welcome to the Hartmanns”) The role of the dogged lawyer is played off in a very routine and spiteful manner. Franco Nero, who is taciturn but boasts meaningful looks, weighs in on this (“John Wick: Chapter 2”) and M’Barek’s game as an empathetic and determined defender is easily restored. Nevertheless, the first two thirds of “The Collini Case” don’t quite come close to the conclusion. The dialogues outside the courtroom are cramped at times and the developments of the supporting characters are erratic. Here you can see how much the book template had to be shortened. Alexandra Maria Lara’s character, Johanna: Lara, is hit particularly hard (“Alfons Zitterbacke: Chaos is back”) Although she makes the most of what the script allows her with her big, haunting facial expressions, her role degenerates into a changeable cue giver.
The opposing sides sniff each other out…
The flashbacks, which show both Caspar Leinen’s discovered evidence and his childhood story in outline, also tend to be artificial. The direction, acting and script convey the basic idea of these scenes in a very condensed, somewhat cliché-laden form, similar to a small handful of dispensable allusions to Leinen’s origins (which differ from the original in the book). On the other hand, Kreuzpaintner masters the little tonal deflections: the director shows how Leinen makes the acquaintance of a pizza delivery woman and talks to her about family matters and his case as pleasantly humane and slightly humorous, without slowing down the drama of this material.
Conclusion: Despite some constructed moments and dialogues, the exciting final third and M’Barek’s screen presence ensure solid judicial cinema entertainment.
“The Collini Case” can be seen in USA cinemas nationwide from April 18th.