When seeing “Midnight Runner”, you will get a sense of Oscar Pistorius throughout.
In this film, we meet a clean-cut champion athlete who leads aparallel life as a serial assaulter of women, Fictionalizing and updating events that made Swiss headlines in the 1990s, we meet a high performaming athlete by day, but when night comes, he turns into a nasty person with an urge to attack woman and steal their belongings.
Jonas Widmer (Hubacher), a 23-year-old junior chef and long-distance runner based in Bern: In infancy, he and his older brother Philipp (played in flashbacks by Saladin Dellers) were victims of such extreme parental negligence that Jonas couldn’t even walk by the age of four, while six-year-old Philipp hadn’t yet learned to speak.
As we open on present-day Jonas finishing second in the Langenfeld Army Run — a locally prestigious marathon that he won the year before — while his adoptive mother (Sylvie Rohrer) and adoring girlfriend Simone (Annina Euling) cheer him on. But it would appear that the intervening decades have not mended the broken boy.
On public transport, he stares a little too long and a little too intently at female strangers; at work, his initially reciprocated flirtation with a new kitchen trainee would seem invasive even if he weren’t keeping Simone wholly out of the picture. Late one night, rebuffed by a woman in the street after he offers assistance, he impulsively responds by snatching her handbag and racing into the darkness. It’s an irrational, inexplicable crime that launches a series of more calculated, progressively more violent sidewalk attacks on vulnerable women.
We ultimately reach an ending which will leave more questions then answers.
Midnight Runner is a dark physiological thriller which will have you on the edge of your seats.
Review by Tony Polese