• Golden Globe Awards

Taktik (Austria)

Three incarcerated criminals – Alois, the brains behind the coup, Hans, a former butcher and pimp, and Abdullah, an Arab terrorist – stage a hostage crisis in a maximum-security prison. Alois is the leader. The three attach home-made bombs to three female employees, Gaby, Rosa and Jasna, and barricade themselves and their victims in the prison’s commissary. They ask for freedom, a helicopter and cash.
The policeman on duty is a young and inexperienced officer named Alfred “Fredi” Hollerer, who is saddled with the questionable privilege of negotiating with the felons, a task for which he is wholly unsuited. Until now, he has specialized in profiling criminals on paper. He calls for a professional hostage negotiator, but in the meantime, he is left in charge. As the hours grind on, and Hans and Abdullah keep losing their cool with the women and can only be talked down by Alois, who – on the face of it – keeps relatively calm, the situation grows ever more nightmarish for the women, who are subjected to physical and psychological humiliation tactics while the negotiator appeals to Alois’ “good nature” and tries to keep him talking whilst promising to deliver transportation and money. Neither prospect is even remotely realistic, and he knows it.
Hans-Günther Bücking and his wife Marion Mitterhammer, a well-known actress in the German-speaking film industry, co-wrote the screenplay, based on a true story that was re-told from memory by the original negotiator.
Bücking, a first-time director, helmed the production. The cast is made up of an array of Austria’s well-known and best-known actors. The three women are played by Michou Friesz, Bojana Golenac and Marion Mitterhammer. Harald Krassnitzer plays the eloquent, narcissistic and mentally unstable leader Alois, an interesting departure from the good guy roles he is usually known for, most notably that as a detective on the world’s longest-running television crime series, Tatort.
Even the cameo roles are played by Austrian stars: Daniela Golpashin shows up as the police commissioner, and comedian Florian Scheuba makes an appearance as the arrogant hostage negotiator who berates the policeman.
The suffocating intensity of the confined space the film is shot in, and the dark visuals convey a bleak mood to the audience. The conversations between the two sides are verbal duels and obviously stressful for the participants as well as for the viewer. The back and forth of seemingly ridiculous conversations and barely suppressed fury keeps the suspense up despite an obvious outcome.