Streaker (Flitzer) (2018)
Streaker (Flitzer) (2018)

Genre: Comedy Running Time: 1 hr. 38 min.

Release Date: April 6th, 2018 MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Director: Peter Luisi Actors: Beat Schlatter, Doro Muggler, Luna Wedler, Bendrit Bajra, Daniel Mangisch, Philippe Graber, Una Rusca

 


 

I

n the middle of a football (soccer) match, Baltasar “Balz” Naf (Beat Schlatter) leaps from the stands, strips off his clothes, and is promptly tackled by security as he attempts to streak across the field (wearing only a fake beard). Eight weeks earlier, Naf, a part-time teacher at Baden High School, contends with his rebellious daughter Elisabeth (Luna Wedler), who refuses to wear modest outfits in class – and certainly doesn’t want her peers to find out that Baltasar is her father. It would be catastrophic to her reputation, though it’s not a well-kept secret. Naf is also coerced into doing the finances for his school by contemptuous principal Karl Ziegler.

When his three-year efforts to save money for the school results in a presentation to the board, he’s certain that it will conclude with the extra resources being used to open a museum dedicated to famed Swiss writer Gottfried Keller, who has been most inspirational in Naf’s life. After all, Ziegler promised him as much. But the other teachers would rather have FIFA-regulation turf put on the field, which the principal quickly approves. Feeling betrayed, Balz decides to do something immoral (or unsportsmanlike) – thanks to a suggestion by his hairdresser, who happens to run a sports betting office on the side that nets him a brand new, white Lamborghini. If Naf bets against the home team, he can use the winnings to open his museum.

The first problem with the story is the boilerplate design of Karl’s duplicity. And the second is the fact that Ziegler, having just double-crossed his employee, thinks nothing of allowing the highly disgruntled man to continue handling all the finances – which gives him complete access to the 741,000 francs earmarked for the turf. What could go wrong? As these comic capers go, Naf’s misuse of funds finds him in hot water. But it also kindles a fresh plan for recouping and gaining additional money: if he can employ streakers to disrupt the upcoming games, it might lead to a different, exclusive type of betting, involving guessing how long the naked runners can flounder about the field before getting tackled by security. As he hypothesizes, the worst that can happen is the loss of his job. Prison isn’t even a likelihood.

Since the consequences are slim, and handled with a slapstick tone, the conflicts fail to inspire tension. However, there’s something mildly amusing about the lead streaker’s (Philippe Graber) approach to streaking – for him, it’s a sport, just like football. He has to stay in shape, practice, and scrutinize details like interacting with the press and staying on the field for the most amount of time possible (here, there’s even a world record). This isn’t just about a pervert satisfying his kicks. It’s also quite humorous when Balz attempts to replace the streaker, to keep up his potential for winnings, first by propositioning nudists, then an artist’s model, then the unemployed. Of course, since the opening scene revealed the modest teacher streaking himself, it’s obvious that that will be his last resort. An older, respectable, well-known man in the community definitely has a lot more to lose.

Despite a disappointingly formulaic approach to overcoming monetary obstacles (or correcting a bad scam), and the standard disregard for realistic reactions and outcomes, there’s a hint of originality in both the event and in Naf’s methods for recruiting accomplices. The antagonists (or nemeses) aren’t as original, particularly with a construction site boss who wants to get paid, and a commissar (Doro Muggler) that heads a special unit just to put a stop to these episodes of embarrassment for the game organizers. Fortunately, the mood remains light, even when Naf crosses a line or two (or three). “Streakers” may not prove that raunchy comedies from Switzerland break the mold, but it’s still a decent thigh-slapper and a perfectly serviceable romantic fantasy.

– Mike Massie

  • 7/10