Nordic Noir. A Danish cop has a nervous breakdown and is sent to a small village. Murder and mayhem ensue, with just a little bit of Hotel California. It has Kim Bodnia, who is totally money. Always. He's in the white cowboy hat.
My friend and I named our band after this movie two years before any of us ever saw it. I watched it here on Mubi a couple days ago, and was quite relieved that we didn't name ourselves after an awful film. If we did, we'd be called The Norbits.
Unique, strange, gripping movie. Understated intensity sustained throughout. Psychologically as disturbing as anything you'll see but done without Hollywood-style emotional excess or stupid sub-plots. Directed brilliantly, great cinematography. Captures those northern European flatlands beautifully.
As the saying goes, "If you dance with the devil, remember it's he that calls the tune". The idea of gambling with with one's soul if referenced symbolically quite a bit throughout this film. For example, in the card game that Jakob Cedergren's character is asked to join that's constantly going on between the town doctor, the priest and the grocery clerk. There's also recurring scenes depicting crossroads.
Oh those crime obsessed Danes! The plot is standard noir, but told with great style. The kinetic and melodrama camera work against the dry and nicely underplayed performances creates a really nifty and stylish film. Director Genz has created a primer for contemporary noir. I've seen it twice and first enjoyed the plot then savored the style.
The Cohen bros and Lynch influences aside, this film is meant to be read as an allegory about Danish society: The town doctor, priest, grocery store owner, and policeman in an unholy alliance of normalcy that covers up for murder.