ARD/SWR TATORT: DAS VERHÖR, "Fernsehfilm Deutschland 2022", am Sonntag (04.09.22) um 20:15 Uhr im ERSTEN. Hat Lena Odenthal (Ulrike Folkerts) Oberstaatsanwalt Marquardt (Max Tidof) endlich von ihrer Verhörtaktik überzeugt? © SWR/Benoît Linder, honorarfrei - Verwendung gemäß der AGB im engen inhaltlichen, redaktionellen Zusammenhang mit genannter SWR-Sendung bei Nennung "Bild: SWR/Benoît Linder" (S2+). SWR Presse/Bildkommunikation, Baden-Baden, Tel: 07221/929-22202,

Captain Kessler (Götz Otto) stands to attention while he has to justify himself to his superiors. A comrade had been humiliated, complains Lieutenant Colonel Angelika Limbach (Katrin Röver). She doesn’t let him get away with the fact that this only happened during a “harmless admission ritual”, as Kessler explains. The captain rolls his eyes, but he keeps his composure – outwardly.

Also towards Commissioner Lena Odenthal (Ulrike Folkerts), who notices a lot in front of the door thanks to the loud argument. “The men in my department first had to get used to the fact that I’m in charge,” says Odenthal obligingly. “In the end, only competence counts,” Kessler replies with a friendly smile. The cigarette he lights up immediately after his superiors scold him is the only indication of a possibly hidden anger.

It is obvious that sheer hatred of men, whose traditional understanding of roles collides with the new times, should be a factor. One look at the fantasies of violence openly expressed in social networks is enough. The phenomenon of hate crimes against women, described by the term “femicide”, has hardly been systematically examined to date. Crime statistics recently showed an increase in violence against women in partnerships during the pandemic.

The victim in the “crime scene”, a successful investment banker, was also divorced and had applied for sole custody of her five-year-old son. In the relationship with ex-husband Patrick (Jonathan Müller), there was a lot of anger at play, says the victim’s mother. Patrick has an unassailable alibi. Instead, Kessler is targeted by the police. A witness had observed a pick-up like the Bundeswehr captain drives.

While Kessler is being questioned at the police station, there are increasing indications that he was at the crime scene at the time of the crime. In addition, his affable demeanor is proving to be more and more clearly a mere facade, behind which contempt and coldness are concealed.

The creepy effect is all the greater because Götz Otto doesn’t play the misogynist as a rampage, but as a controlled soldier. It is not Kessler who seems to be in trouble, but rather the inspectors with whom he plays a perfidious game, whom he provokes. “You’re pretty young to be a chief inspector. What did you have to do for it?” Kessler asks Odenthal’s young colleague Johanna Stern (Lisa Bitter). And when Stern takes a DNA sample with a cotton swab, he bites her finger. “It was a reflex, I’m sorry,” he claims, apparently understanding.

The 54-year-old actor Götz Otto never escaped villain roles thanks to his supporting villain role in the Bond film “Tomorrow Never Dies”. As in the most recent Franconian “Tatort” by Max Färberböck (“Why”), he doesn’t just play an underexposed hit-and-run here. By the way: Already in the “Tatort” episode “Nahkampf” with Lena Odenthal (1997) Götz Otto gave a Bundeswehr lieutenant.

The “Verhör” screenplay by Stefan Dähnert is reminiscent of a Patricia Highsmith novel and a Hitchcock classic. The crime itself shows that extreme violence against women has a long tradition. At the same time, the devilish construction, by means of which the victims are burned alive, provides an extra portion of tension. The detectives have one hour and 43 minutes to stop another murder. After the atmospherically dense, stirring chamber play, in which hatred and violence are always in the air, directed by Esther Wenger, things get turbulent at the end. Not everything seems conclusive there, but that it takes almost superhuman female powers to prevent male violence from gaining the upper hand is an apt, bitter punch line.