In Order of Disappearance

September 5, 2016 at 4:36 pm | Posted in 2016 | 2 Comments
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This 2014 Norwegian film has just made an appearance in the U.S. and it’s easy to see how it may have taken a while to show here, given that its pitch-black and often quite dry humor may be a bit dark and subtle for most American audiences. So, subtle, in fact, that some might reasonably not realize it is a comedy. Its Norwegian name is “Kraftidioten,” which is a colloquial phrase, essentially meaning #1 Idiot; that might have at least been a hint. This was no “Sausage Party,” I assure you. Rather than drawing inspiration from the likes of Rogan or Franco, director Hans Petter Moland seems more influenced by Tarantino or the Coens. Nils Dickman (Stellan Skarsgård) is a snow plow operator in a small Norwegian village who lives a life of quiet routine and stability, until his son is found dead of an overdose. Things quickly spiral from there as he turns into Charles Bronson of the Arctic. There is blood, blood and a bit more blood and uneasy laughter along the way. Some of the humor is brilliant, particularly some of the very subtle visual jokes. Pål Sverre Hagen is, perhaps, the funnies element of the movie as the vegan psychopathic crime boss. But violence and humor are a delicate balance and it can be a hard laugh to earn, as when the boss punches his ex-wife in the face. Humor is about knowing how to take your audience to the edge of their comfort zone. I think this film mostly (but not always) got it right. It’s stylishly shot and uses the cold dark winter to maximum effect. The story is thrilling enough, though not one whit of it is surprising. That said, there is enough style and humor here to keep you entertained, even if you are pretty sure you know the outcome. Moland is not the Coen Brothers. At least, not yet. But he still managed to make a unique and thoroughly entertaining little film.

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2 Comments »

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  1. I loved this film so much. I thought Stellan did such a good job in it! Great writeup, I agree with pretty much all you said. Do you ever feature your writing on any other sites at all?

  2. Thanks for the comment. I have featured my writing on other sites before. If you are interested, contact me with the details.


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