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Norway is a great backdrop for an icy murder mystery. (Um, wouldn't be icy without snow and such, would it?) It seems a string of murders happens in the Oslo area with the same M.O. Decapitation with a snowman replacing the head. It seems that all the women victims have children whose fathers are unknown. (One must applaud Scandinavian women for being so randy.) Obviously, the killer has some great cross to bear and we see him in the opening segment. Of course, he is very young and we have no idea who he is as an adult. Everyone is suspect and framed nicely if only for a few fleeting moments.
The cinematography is notable for showing the wide open spaces of nature counter-balanced by the confined inner spaces of a frugal society. The script delivers a good story that does have us going down the wrong alley a few times and Fassbinder and company do well. The one puzzlement for me was Kilmer. I had to squint to recognize him as he had lost weight, had long hair swooped over the top, and God Father cheeks. As a matter of fact, his voice sounded dubbed and I wonder if he could not enunciate properly or if he was method acting as another drunken police detective on suspension.
Fassbinder's character stayed in a state of near inebriation as he fought his own demons by having a son who lived with his mother (Gainsbourg) without credit for being the dad. The story moves and becomes more intense as the players begin to drop one-by-one. The ice and snow comes down, the snowmen get built, and people die with regularity.
I was hoping for a bit more but the film doesn't quite uphold the gravitas of the trailers. (It may be that is was shot on HD and didn't have the depth of film. Not sure but the framing was HD.) Still, it wouldn't be bad as a walk in but cable may suit most.
...after having read all of the Joe Nesbo books, this one is perhaps the darkest and edgiest.
Harry Hole is a pretty complicated character but Fassbinder does a good job of bringing him alive.
It's nice to see Val Kilmer but he is almost unrecognizable.
And it's nice to see all of the Norwegian buildings and snowy landscape described in the book that I could only imagine.
The problem is that the film is structured a lot like the book which jumps from place to place but without all of the narrative detail of the book.
If I hadn't read the book first, I would have had a difficult time following the film and understanding who all the people are.
I enjoyed the film but I'd give it a C+.
I love randy gals- BW.
This one is on my list as well.
Liked some parts of it. Agree with your review. What was the purpose of J.K. Simmons character? Looked like it was going somewhere and then just dropped.
...red herring to throw you off - along with his relationship with Vetlesen from the clinic.
The problem with the film is that it didn't allow for all of the character development and detail of the book.
Many of the characters who were well developed in the book came across as two dimensional in the film - Simmons was one.
...are what this film is based on.
Next to Lee Child's Jack Reacher series, these are my favorites.
A little edgier, with a very flawed hero.
Anxious to see how they handle the book.
I am a big Nesbo fan...I've read all his mystery books over the years. So I was curious to see how Harry Hole would come to cinema. Well, I read 2 reviews, NY Times and LA Times and I heard 2 reviewers on NPR. They all agree that this is a complete mess. Apparently even the director says there are problems with the finished product. From fairly minor complaints such as one character doing a sort of Norwegian accent while other speak various British accents, to bigger ones such as an early plot element disappearing never to return...well I will not spend my time on this one, not even on video. It is said to be a real turkey.
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