Synopsis by Connor McMadden
Once upon a time, Commissar Studer was the Columbo of Swiss cinema, a cigar-chomping supersleuth known for his raggedy appearance and caustic interrogations. That was back in the 1940s when beloved actor Heinrich Gretler starred as Studer in a series of black-and-white films based on a series of novels by Friedrich Glauser. These films are classics in Switzerland, so it comes as no surprise that in 2001, Swiss television decided to make an update. In this needlessly gender-bent and complicated retelling of Matto Regiert (Madness Rules), the great detective appears as Claudia Studer, an insecure and apparently speech-impaired female detective charged with solving a murder at an insane asylum. While the old commissar never needed any help solving his cases, this revamped Studer comes with a partner, a scene-stealing police superintendent by the name of Stefan Huber. Since it is Huber who gets all the good lines and all the groovy work of detecting, the real mystery is what this production has to do with Commissar Studer (the murder case itself is too listless and meandering to draw any interest). Use it as a comparison of classic Swiss filmmaking to new Swiss filmmaking to see how much has been lost.