A dead man, plus lots of change: when Commissioner Marie Brand ( Mariele Millowitsch ) and her colleague Jürgen Simmel ( Hinnerk Schönemann ) investigate the murder, the victim soon turns out to be Sigmar Calser, owner of several casinos. As such, he had plenty of enemies. There is the former partner Lothar Emmerich ( Michael Schenk ), whom Calser had thrown in jail and who has recently been released. Perhaps a gang of professional gamblers who wanted to exclude the deceased also had something to do with the matter. And even Michi Calser ( Daniel Lommatzsch ), the dead man's second son, was not on good terms with him and broke off contact with him years ago …
A little bit of fun is always good. That has always been the motto of the ZDF crime series Marie Brand . It is true that murders, crimes and other unsightly aspects of being together are constantly at stake there. But that doesn't mean that you have to lose your good mood because of it. This was also evident in the anniversary episode Marie Brand and Playing with Luck , the 25th appearance of the capable inspector, who has been investigating several times a year on German TVs since 2008. Always there: Jürgen Simmel. He often doesn't seem to really know what he's doing. But you can always use a funny sidekick.
Whereby he can even get really active in Marie Brand and the game of luck. Not only that he finally wants to earn more money, which causes various irritations in a subplot. He can use his childlike mind right at the beginning to motivate a few boys to make a statement. Then he shines with his knowledge of gambling, including various technical terms, which Brand acknowledges with regular confused looks. The audience feels very similar at the points when they immerse themselves in a very special world with their own rules – and means to override these rules immediately. Because where money is at stake, there is no longer any joking.
Whether one considers the often silly jokes on this subject, which repeatedly destroys human existences, to be appropriate and legitimate, is of course a matter of opinion. Especially since the film does not conceal these hardship cases, but shows concrete examples. Either way, with Marie Brand and the game of luck, it seems that you couldn't quite decide where to go. Danger to life and limb, bitter family dramas and idiocy do not necessarily go together. The sad fate does not have the desired effect. It's not even that what was meant to be funny is always funny. Sometimes the jokes are rather exhausting, especially since the variety is manageable.
And the case itself is not really convincing either. For example, screenwriter Timo Berndt ( Die Toten vom Bodensee: Der Wegspuk , Sarah Kohr: Schutzbefohlen ) has brought together a lot of suspicious people with a wide variety of motives, from personal relationships to disdainful Mammon. The actual resolution, however, is quite disappointing and confused. Of course, not every crime thriller has to be a believable picture of reality. With the exciting milieu in which we are immersed here, a stronger reference to reality would still have been desirable. So with Marie Brand and the game of luck there remains an overall nice TV production, which is occasionally entertaining and lures with its own flair, but in the end is nothing halved and nothing whole. That's not a lot for an anniversary episode.
OT: "Marie Brand and the game of luck"
Director: Michael Zens
Script: Timo Berndt
Music: Florian Tessloff
Camera: Enzo Brandner
Cast: Mariele Millowitsch, Hinnerk Schönemann, Thomas Heinze, Marie Leuenberger, Alexander Beyer, Daniel Lommatzsch, Jörg Malchow, Katharina Behrens, Peter Schneider, Michael Schenk
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