Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. Norway/Germany, 2011. Yellow Bird, Friland, Nordisk Film, ARD Degeto Film, TV2 Norge, Sveriges Television, Danmarks Radio, Norsk Filminstitutt, Nordisk Film- & TV-Fond. Screenplay by Ulf Ryberg, Lars Gudmestad, based on the novel by Jo Nesbo. Cinematography by John Andreas Andersen. Produced by Marianne Gray, Asle Vatn. Music by Trond Bjerknes, Jeppe Kaas. Production Design by Nina Bjerch Andresen. Costume Design by Karen Fabritius Gram. Film Editing by Vidar Flataukan. Toronto International Film Festival 2011.
Getting everything a man could want in life is not always easy, especially if he thinks that being shorter than average will keep him from achieving it. That’s how Roger Brown introduces himself to us at the beginning of this nifty thriller, informing us that keeping a gorgeous home and earning a beautiful trophy wife is not something he can do easily on his salary as the head of an employment placement company. To supplement his income, Brown steals valuable art from private home collections, slipping in a forgery for the genuine article and selling it on the black market. When his wife introduces him to a now-retired corporate honcho (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), Brown discovers that he has hit the jackpot: his new friend owns a Rubens painting acquired by his grandmother from a secret liaison with a Nazi officer decades before. If our protagonist can get his hands on this item his money troubles will be over for good. That’s just the beginning of a game that turns deadly when the usual tricks don’t work, and the thief-by-night is suddenly being pursued by an adversary ready to kill anyone in his path to retrieve his prized possession. Is that the whole story? The twists progress from there. It’s a graphic, brutal thriller whose lurid moments will be too much for more more sensitive viewers, but those with a strong stomach and a love of good man-pursued action flicks will have a terrific time.