Dildos in the imperial court
“Sisi” is one of several new adaptations about the life of the Austrian Empress. The structural film adapted from the 1950s was forgotten – the ladies of the court were portrayed liberally.
So she is back. In times when cinema turned one historical material into autobiographical, it was only a matter of time before the story of Elizabeth of Bavaria, who later became the Empress of Austria, was re-adapted. RTL’s six-part series “Sisi” is the start of a series of productions that aim to portray the Empress in a more multifaceted way than before.
And Sisi can take a renaissance. Because the portrait of the Austrian Empress is still shaped by one trilogy: a portrait of Ernst Marishka from the 1950s with Romy Schneider. Sixty years later, the down-and-coming three-part series is shown on TV every Christmas, and Schneider’s name still drops at the same time that he stuck to the role that stuck it out “like semolina.” And similar to Romy Schneider, Sisi also has a lot to offer.
The gist of the story is the same – the Duchess of Bavaria becomes betrothed to the Austrian Emperor instead of her sister and soon suffers from the burden of all the obligations of the Empress. However, the new version shows Sisi’s multifaceted presence. She does not know what to expect at the imperial court, but she knows very well that she will not twist herself for it. “No one will change me,” she tells her father in an argument. Swiss-American actress Dominique Davenport is spared this stubborn, curious sissy who is finally shy about hiring the same woman as the maid with whom her future husband spent a night in the brothel.
The real Sisi was not only educated and traveled a lot, but a liberal and a passionate knight, she studied nutrition, diet and fitness and wrote poetry. All in all very progressive at the time. She allegedly got an anchor as a tattoo. Nothing is to be seen from the tattoos in the first two episodes of ‘Sisi’, previously available, but the ladies of the court escaping dildos to the Vienna Hofburg Hotel.
Exquisitely portrayed – filmed in Latvia and Lithuania, among others – Sisi is already mentioned once with “The Crown” or “Bridgerton”. A comparison that RTL should be pleased with. Should the series boost its RTL+ video platform and help position itself against providers like Netflix? This could work by the spring of 2022, but then Netflix itself will release Sisi’s adaptation of “The Empress” with Devrim Linnau and Philip Froissant as an imperial couple, and another series is in the works in the USA. Also in the spring of 2022, Frauke Finsterwalder and her husband Christian Kracht will bring Sissy and I to the cinema. It tells the story of the Austrian Empress from the perspective of Lady-Waited Irma.
But if characters rather than dildo comedy come to the fore in later “Sisi” episodes, the renaissance has succeeded. In any case, Sisi’s second season has already begun.
“Al-Sisi”: Six episodes, starting today, on RTL.
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