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line "Rosamunde Pilcher - The Magic Bus"

Tilmann P. Gangloff
Despite the title, the romantic Pilcher drama “Der magische Bus” (ZDF / FFP New Media) is about the magic of love: A young travel agent founds her own company, but the first group trip already gets completely out of hand. In Isabella Krieger, those responsible have found an unknown leading actress, as has so often been the case, who does her job excellently. The rest of the ensemble and some surprising twists and turns make up for the conventional cinematic implementation.

Pilcheresk found love: Olivia (Isabella Krieger) and Nicolas (Max Woelky)

Rosamunde Pilcher films do not have a particularly good reputation with discerning viewers and especially with critics. The phrase “it pilchert” has not yet made it into the Duden, but is considered a synonym for shallow television entertainment. One thing, however, has to be given to the ZDF: The broadcaster and production company repeatedly show astonishing courage in casting the female leading roles; and most of the time you are spot on with your choice. The latest "Herzkino" discovery is Isabella Krieger, whose very manageable filmography has so far only contained works that probably hardly anyone knows. Screenwriter Susanne Hertel has written a role for her that many young actresses can dream of.

That doesn't make the Pilcher adaptation “The Magic Bus” a special work, but the story is quite entertaining and with Walter Kreye also has another actor to offer, whose participation usually stands for a certain cinematic quality. Both roles are also nicely conceived: The young travel agent Olivia (Krieger) has founded her own company that organizes excursions to Cornwall. As part of the weekly trip, the participants, who are led by her, go in search of ancient Celtic sagas, myths and legends. The first trip, however, is not a particularly good star: Due to water damage in the five-star hotel, the group has to move to a country inn that has not yet reopened after a renovation. But it gets worse: in an ancient stone circle near the cliffs, travelers should focus on the energy of this place with their eyes closed. When they open their eyes again, Arthur Talbot (Kreye) has disappeared. Because the old gentleman looked a little melancholy, Olivia fears that he may have harmed himself; that would be the abrupt end of their company, given the headlines.

Love is prophesied to Olivia (Isabella Krieger) by a fortune teller (Julie Peasgood). For the "Herzkino" connoisseur this would not have been necessary at all!

In a casual way, Hertel lets all sorts of esoteric details flow into her fourth Pilcher script. For example, an American participant raves about a fantasy bestseller, the heroine of which wakes up in the past thanks to a magical stone circle. In fact, Arthur embarked on such a journey, albeit without leaving the present. The explanation for his mysterious farewell is just as surprising as his "exposure", because the older man is a man with an extremely eventful biography. The story is actually about magic, but the aging coach has nothing to do with it, because, as always in the ZDF “Herzkino”, it is about the magic of love: The reasons for Arthur's disappearance are decidedly romantic . Olivia also takes great pleasure in the presence of Nicolas (Max Woelky), the owner of the inn, who always encourages positive thinking. A joint nocturnal search around the stone circle with a full moon and fog starts almost creepy, at least according to the harmless standards of this broadcasting slot, and ends with a magical moment. However, perfectionist Olivia thinks love is a temporary hormonal mess, which is why Nicolas has to work hard. While the camera in the puritanical “Herzkino” usually disappears after the first kiss, it stays there for an unusually long time on the couple's first night together.

The unexpected twists and turns of the plot make up for the more than conventional implementation of the story; a shortcoming from which earlier Hertel books for the series, such as “The Legacy of Our Father” (2018), have suffered. Directed here and there: Marco Serafini, who has only been making “Herzkino” films for a number of years. With all the joy of the sympathetic story and the convincing ensemble, which also includes Jakob Graf as Olivia's ex-boyfriend and bus driver, Eva Verena Müller as Nicolas' colleague Eliza Little ("without 'Do'") and the other than in the "Traumschiff “Counting Harald Schmidt, who is pleasantly cautious, as a participant with a secret: The background music (Patrick M. Schmitz) is, as in most Pilcher films, a switching factor. If the camera turns up, it is immediately rewarded with a flourish, and when the lovers kiss for the first time, the music immediately goes into ecstasy. But that's nothing at all against the absurd idea of ​​having a married couple from Texas dubbed with a strong American accent. That sounds like a relic from the seventies; In the case of such mistakes, those responsible should not complain that “Pilcher” is a synonym for yesterday's television. However, this accusation does as little damage to the success of the series as it does to German Cornwall tourism; Holidaymakers are guaranteed to include stone circles in their program on their next pilgrimage to the Pilcher sites. (Text as of November 5, 2019)

The way to freedom: Arthur Talbot (Walter Kreye) discovers the romanticism of rockers.

Tilmann P. Gangloff has been a freelance television and film critic for daily newspapers and specialist magazines since 1985, has been a regular member of the jury for the Grimme Prize since 1990 and a member of various other television award juries. is worth something to me

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"Rosamunde Pilcher - The Magic Bus"
ZDF / series / romantic drama
EA: 1.12.19. , 8.15 p.m. (ZDF) Wed
With Isabella Krieger, Max Woelky, Walter Kreye, Jakob Graf, Eva Verena Müller, Harald Schmidt, Seylan Baxter, Julie Peasgood
Script: Susanne Hertel. Template: Rosamunde Pilcher, "Promise of tomorrow" (short story)
Director: Marco Serafini
Camera: Sebastian Wiegärtner
Production Design: Katie Lee
Costume: Sabine Bockmeyer
Editor: Ilana Goldschmidt
Music: Patrick M. Schmitz. Soundtrack: ZZ Top ("Tush")
Editor: Andrea Klingenschmitt
Production company: FFP New Media - Vanessa Lackschéwitz, Michael Smeaton
Quota: 4.68 million viewers (13.4% MA)

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