Communicator (communicator) wrote,


I have been watching the Danish thriller Forbrydelsen ('The Killing') on BBC4. I am watching episode 8 right now on play-back because I was out on Saturday. It's about a murder in Copenhagen, which damages a charismatic political candidate in the run-up to an election, because there is a suspicion that one or more of his allies in the local community might be implicated. There are 20 hour-long episodes, each corresponding to one day of the investigation.

Although comparisons have been made with Wallander, I think that's mainly because it's a grown-up murder story originating in Scandinavia. It has a very different feel, and the colouring is completely different - it's glossy black where Wallander is wheat-coloured.

The plot is genuinely on a knife-edge, because both the lead characters and we the viewers are flummoxed by uncertainty. What I would particularly pick out though is the very realistic portrayal of politicians: the electoral team, their wider party, and their political allies, are portrayed like real people, with the sort of emotional maturity that political successes actually have. I think it can be difficult to frame a political plot which realistically links a small-scale intimate story with wider political issues. I can think of a lot of failures - like the Star Wars prequels or To Kill A King. This one I think works, with the political manoeuvering and the police investigation unfolding together. Very good.

ETA - I see that AMC are planning to broadcast an American remake this year. Although I tend to dislike remakes, this sounds promising.
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