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Inspector turned repo man Simon Brenner encounters a strange brew of family feud and absurd carneval plot.
The interesting thing about the books and films based on the Brenner character is not necessarily the plot and the whodunnit. It is the very Austrian weirdness of the hero cop (the most worn-down character this side of Bogey, minus the cool, plus some morbid thing that is the Austrian cool, if you know what I mean), based on a whole legacy of Thomas Bernhard, Elfriede Jelinek, Ernst Jandl and Hermes Fettbergs. Austria is different, and so are her crime fighters. And her criminals, for that matter, because the keeper of the inn in which the better part of the movie plays is a pragmatic maniac, able to do everything that is necessary with great stoicism, from pushing his son off the icy road to … well, see for yourself, nasty things with butcher utensils.
The laconic depression of the first “Brenner” movie “Komm, Suesser Tod” remains unsurpassed (“ziehen, net blasen” – “suck, don’t blow”), but on second viewing, “Knochenmann” is on par with “Silentium”, and no doubt will Josef Hader, prime Austrian cabaret / comedian get a chance to play the character a couple more times – after all, the novel Brenner had its resurrection almost at the same time with this movie coming out, when Wolf Haas published the latest installment. More to come, and that’s appreciated.

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