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.
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