Austria’s national broadcoast premiered ‘Der Trafikant’. I watched it and wanted to write a short review.
This movie is a German-Austrian co-production by Nikolaus Leytner from 2018. Simon Morzé plays the lead role as Franz, whereas Bruno Ganz (Sigmund Freud), Emma Drogunova (Anezka) and Johannes Krisch (Otto Trsnjek) play side roles. It is placed in 1937 before the Anschluss in Austria.
A brief summary of the storyline: Franz leaves his home village to work as tobacconist in Vienna. Otto is a WW1 veteran and owns a tobacco store. Otto has a very open-minded nature and is friendly with locals as he considers it as core value for his business. Franz learns all the details about the business including selling magazines with erotic content and regular Sigmund Freud. Franz somehow befriends Sigmund on the topic of love as Franz feels lost on this topic being new to Vienna. Encouraged by Sigmund, he makes the first move and meets Anezka who works as varieté dancer. With this setting all the characters are introduced and Franz tries to bond with Anezka, builds up his friendship with Sigmund and learns business skill by Otto. But as nationalsocialistic tensions arise, Otto is denounced to the Gestapo by the local butcher and his life starts to break apart …
I have to join in other reviews on criticizing the set. Even though the buildings where made with high accuracy, the scenery still looks surrealistic like a set from a museum.
I liked the skips introduced. Sometimes the story continues with some unexpectedly courageous action by Franz. But then a flashback happens to the scene before Franz' action to essentially reset time. This style is used several times to communicate Franz' feeling and thoughts (which action he would like to set).
The actors did a great job. This includes, for example, fight scenes or the respectful approach of Franz towards Sigmund.
The story line was okay. The political tensions and challenges in the tobacco shop are conveyed properly, but end (i.e. final climax) of the storyline was weak.
Overall, I enjoyed the movie but wouldn’t watch it a second time.