What color is the horror? Bad question, finds Wotan Wilke Möhring, the better is: What weather has the horror? Wet cold, ground fog, diffused light. The horror is at home on the Lower Rhine, six episodes long, for just under an hour. “Parfum” to watch ZDFneo from Wednesday on is a mini-series that will be disturbing. With great actors like Friederike Becht , August Diehl, Trystan Pütter or just Wotan Wilke Möhring, he plays a career-tough prosecutor, once his wife says to him: “You will end up in hell!”
But are not they all there long ago? In a hell called Niederrhein? Wotan Wilke Möhring grew up nearby, “I know quite well, it’s beautiful when the sun is shining. The fog and the rain are enough to reverse this impression. One sees that and involuntarily thinks: this landscape produces these gruesome figures. “
“Parfum”, consciously without an article, leans on Patrick Süskind’s novel of the century. “Perfume” is set in 18th-century Paris, it is the life story of the murderer Jean-Baptiste Grenouille. Twenty years ago, Tom Tykwer tried a film adaptation and, with all his opulence, failed terrificly. Philipp Kadelbach does not even bother to do justice to the literary model.
Even his “perfume” plays with the power of the fragrance, which even with the technical means of the digital age can not be conjured up on the screen. Süskind’s prose stands for the fascination of the head cinema. The imagination can do it all, and some of it will become reality. The horror takes place in our heads, only someone has to press the button. Tykwer did not find this button, Kadelbach already, but at what price?
2018 on the gloomy, cloudy, rainy Lower Rhine. A naked woman with long red hair goes into a pool. A few sequences later, she is still naked, but horror has taken possession of her. The woman is dead, the red hair shorn, with deep cuts wherever hair grows on the human body. The policewoman (Friederike Becht) formulated after the visit to the crime scene, the not so obvious sentence: “Here someone loves only certain parts of the body, occupying them sexually.” The colleague intervened: “Love? Could not it have something to do with hate? “-” Hate looks different. “
It begins a gloomy Kammerspiel between five old school friends, who are anything but friendly to each other. A soulless careerist (Ken Duken), married to a naive beauty (Natalia Belitski). A brutal bordello host (Trystan Pütter), who has a lot of fun with torturing a complexed outsider (Christian Friedel).
All alone is a crazy perfumer (August Diehl). All together, in their unhappy schooldays, they read “The Perfume” in the sealed-off world of a boarding school and implemented it in a cruel way. They share this secret until today. On the track is a policewoman who cares so carefully and desperately their relationship to the diabolical prosecutor and their emotional needs is not so far away from the five suspects.
Does “perfume” convey a one-sided image of women?
Things are taking their course, but not as predictably as in the dozen of cheap-produced early-evening series. Eva Kranenburg’s screenplay is not that easy for the viewer. Suspense and horror keep the balance. Again and again a woman is being cheated, again and again the camera fades long on naked and disgraced corpses. In “perfume” women are there to be used, and they can be used, though not always voluntarily.
Does “perfume” convey a one-sided image of women? “I do not see it that way,” says Wotan Wilke Möhring. “It may be that some feel that way. But look: The script has written a woman, the investigator is a woman. Sure, there are things that transport horror. But the characters are by no means as stereotypical as they may seem in the beginning. “Breaking down the plot into sexism or misogyny makes it too easy. Kadelbach’s camera shows hard bearable images, but they are only the aesthetic equivalent of the everyday, invisible horror. To the woman who is raped as a child and later marries her tormentor, for whatever reason. Zum Luden, who in his youth has experienced a largely unspoken form of mistreatment to this day. To the eternally enslaved outsider, who finally wants to be on top.
“The true horror takes place between the five suspects,” says Wotan Wilke Möhring. “These abysses of human action. You recognize the spiral and know that it keeps turning down, nobody can stop it. “
To an end that comes as inevitably as unexpected. Maybe staged a bit hastily, but as disturbing as the beginning. Some will reject “perfume” because of its heavy imagery, others will celebrate it just for that. Nobody will be indifferent.