Norway is a great place to set a film noir. The housing, light and landscapes all look like they can provide the ideal hiding places for bad guys doing bad deeds.
It’s impossible to watch this without thinking of its Scandinavian cousins, the movies from Stieg Larsson’s books, “The Killing” and, even “Troll Hunter”, because that’s the last time I saw a Norwegian film with English subtitles. Indeed, that’s the only time.
Our hero is a top level personnel headhunter. He steals art, so I guess there is insufficient money to be made in Scandinavian Human Resources.
With a sleek home, gorgeous wife and expensive habits, he needs extra cash urgently. When he learns that a new Oslo resident has a missing art masterpiece, he forms a plan to steal the painting, but ends up in trouble and on the run.
All the actors are terrific and the subtitles make the story easy to follow. Be warned that this movie has no place for the squeamish. If the references to excrement in “Bridesmaids” made you squirm, you will be beyond uncomfortable in one key scene.
Physical action is fast and furious. Again and again, I was reminded of classic film noir, recent French police procedurals and Hitchcock’s finest murder mysteries, in equal parts.
Undoubtedly, Hollywood will remake it. I haven’t read any of Jo Nesbo’s books so I can’t say close this is to his novel, but it’s a great story that gallops along through all 100 minutes. I do feel I want to read his books now.
The Stratford Picturehouse audience was quiet, respectful and engrossed. If you like crime movies, go see it. It is very graphically violent, in places, but that is essential to the plot, just this once.