Monday, April 8, 2013

H is for Headhunters


Norway, 2011
Running Length: 98 minutes
Cast: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Askel Hennie, Julie R Olgaard, Baard Owe
Director:  Morten Tyldum
Screenplay: Lars Gudmestadt, Ulf Ryberg
Cinematography: John Andreas Anderson

I don’t imagine it will be long before we see a Hollywood remake of this densely plotted Scandinavian thriller. 

Roger is a successful corporate headhunter whose insecurity about his height makes him live beyond his means.  He has a gorgeous house, a stunning wife, and debt spiralling out of control.  In order to keep on top of everything, he starts a side-business in stealing works of art, finding the priceless painting through his interviews with prospective clients.  He thinks all his problems are solved when he meets smooth Dane Clas Greve.

Greve is not only the perfect candidate for the CEO position Roger is recruiting for, but he also lets drop that he has a very valuable painting in his apartment.  But things start spinning out of control and Roger soon finds himself on the run and framed for murder.

So far it sounds like an average, slick crime drama, right?  Well, this one is smarter than that.  Just when you think you know where the film is going next, the filmmaker tosses in a turn into left field or a dramatic shift in tone.  There is plenty of humour here, and some scenes where the gore could rival a horror flick.  And then there are the crucial cast members and random passersby who are brutally slaughtered….

It takes a steady hand and a ton of confidence to pull something like this off, and director Tyldum has both.  This is a stunningly created film with a dizzying pace and a narrative so tightly constructed you’ll be clapping your hands with glee by the end.  Unmissable!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I'd love to see this one! I doubt it'll be shown anywhere near me though. Great review! :-)