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Zurich narcotics detective Herbert Straehl is a pill-popping choleric detoxifying from love. During his attempt to arrest a prominent Albanian drug pusher, René and Carol, a junkie couple, thwart him. When Straehl loses his job he suddenly finds himself caught in the two junkies' mercy. But Straehl doesn't give up.
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Swiss "mean street" hopefully a start into a new era of films
You know the contribution of Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands and other smaller countries to European Cinema. But you certainly haven't seen any recent Swiss made movie, that hit the ranks with critics as well as the public. This seems kind of strange, because Switzerland has an outstanding documentary film making tradition and certainly a strong economy, which could finance even expensive features. But in the last decade or two nothing remarkable from Switzerland came in sight on our movie theater screens. Strähl could be the first feature to signal a new, very different era of films from "Heidiland". On one hand, Strähl presents a rather traditional story of a breakdown in a Cop's career - moving from fighting drug dealers to falling in love with a narcotic. But on this basis it derives it's strengths and high suspense from a witty script, brilliant acting, a dense atmosphere and a very Swiss variety of madness on the streets. So if you don't want to miss the premiere of a - hopefully - new feature production country in Europe, have a look at this (9 out of 10).
Swiss coppa buster
Strähl is losing the plot. A bad-tempered but mush-hearted bully patrolling the hot district around Zurich's Langestrasse, our man gets tangled up in a drug-and-love story where right and wrong get sort of mixed up. So does Strähl whose mammoth intake of medication doesn't help. Here's a doomed man on a doomed mission, simultaneously trying to save his job and get square with the Albanian drug mafia, who finds himself bribing a dope-pushing witness with a pounder worth of heroin... Zurich as canvas for a gritty urban detective story? Well, not quite. Strähl is a thoroughly funny and not least endearing take on your archetypical bad cop plot. Roeland Wiesnekker as Strähl is a monument of a self-pitying, hopeless and sympathetic flatfooter. Johanna Bantzer has just the right edge for the sleazy, street-wise Carol. Manuel Löwensberg as shifty junkie René keeps up with his colleagues. Great side characters (cops). Nice pace throughout. Crafty image. A few flaws in the plot, but who minds, really? Hilariously crude dialogues, though I seriously doubt any translation will do justice to the mangy talk that accounts for a great deal of the fun. Even the German subtitling I got wasn't any where near the real thing. Sound proof that at least a few Swiss do have humour. Great value.