Suddenly Santa Claus has a pistol in his hand. That's how it starts in the comedy "Das Weihnachtsschnitzel", which can be seen this Wednesday (8:15 p.m.) in the first. It is the fifth film in the "Schnitzel" series, which has been running in the first for twelve years.
It's really Christmas - way too much for Günther (Armin Rohde). He lives alone and runs a schnitzel shop in downtown Dortmund with his friend Wolfgang (Ludger Pistor). But now they have to give it up. The rent is too high, the turnover too low - and the two older gentlemen really don't feel like it anymore.
But before Günther can emigrate to Canada on his own (without a return ticket), suddenly Santa Claus is in the shop, gun in hand, and can escape unnoticed - along with the entire day's income (including the proceeds from the meat counter). So the two first hire themselves out to an agency as Santa Clauses, also to find the culprit. Her research in the rather awkward costume first leads her to a department store, then to a hospital - and on a completely wrong track.
Director Wolfgang Murnberger (62, "Nice mess", "No one pushes us away") has staged an entertaining, twisty and thought-provoking film that really gets going in the second half and could also or especially be interesting for those who don't like Christmas.
Criticism of Christmas Madness
The comedy shows a surprising amount of criticism of Christmas madness: too many expensive gifts, too little personal, too lavish food, too much fuss. It's also about low wages, long work shifts, loneliness, friendship, emotional coldness and sheer selfishness - so there's a lot of hustle and bustle in the booth. Of course, Wolfgang's wife Karin (Therese Hämer) and Günther's secret crush Sigrid (Jule Böwe) are also involved - and Santa's friend Schelle (Peter Franke).
The two main actors are in a good mood: Ludger Pistor (63, "Balko Teneriffa") shines as a former and correct salesman who still has it and attaches great importance to etiquette and style. Armin Rohde (67, "The Good Bull", "Toni's World"), on the other hand, gives a deeply lonely and very vulnerable man with a lot of empathy, for whom the great celebration of love goes pretty much against the grain. In addition, his Günther has a big dream of finally fleeing to Canada.
And so the two fabulous actors play two Santa Clauses with a lot of humor and a good pinch of consumer criticism. After all, it's no wonder that the holiday meal is celebrated with family, but not with live-boiled lobster and other fuss. But there is a lot of humanity, homemade schnitzel (not just for three), plenty of fries and the realization that less is often more. This happy news is not announced here with a mallet, but in a rather quiet way - and it just doesn't work entirely without schnitzel.