DIRECTOR Magnus Martens
CAST Kyrre Hellum, Henrik Mestad, Marie Blokhus, Mads Ousdal
Terrified, bloodied, and gripping a shotgun, Oscar Svendsen wakes up, in what used to be a respectable strip joint, surrounded by eight corpses and with a detective’s gun in his face. During his interrogation a bloody and darkly comic tale of betrayal, murder, and lottery winnings emerges – but is this the whole story? Nesbø’s book is brought to the screen with whip-smart pacing and quirky Scandinavian attitude. (2011 Norway 86 minutes Subtitled)
At a plastic Christmas tree factory in Norway, three dangerous ex-cons and their supervisor win 1.7 million kroner on the pools. As trust and friendship quickly dissolve, guns are loaded, knives are sharpened, and the division of the money begins...
BBFC advice: Contains strong violence, gore, language and sex references
“Whereas Headhunters, adapted from Jo Nesbo’s novel, inhabits a world of high-stakes corporate crime and absurd luxury, this original screenplay (by director Magnus Martens from a Nesbo outline) is set in a low-end milieu along a Norwegian-Swedish border which comes across as akin to the Tex-Mex world of cowboy noir at sub-zero temperatures, making burying flash-frozen corpses in iron-hard ground a chore. With a windfall-of-cash MacGuffin that evokes Shallow Grave and A Simple Plan, this also pays homage to the Scandinavian-inflected US criminality of Fargo. An equivalent to the Coens’ wood-chipper is found in the Christmas novelty factory where its money-hungry, violent dimwits work — though corpses dumped into it are recycled as red-trimmed miniature trees rather than splattered all over the snow.
Framed by a lengthy interrogation as a precise, appalled cop tries to get to the bottom of a massacre, Jackpot keeps twisting and turning while its narrator, the hapless yet surprisingly resilient white-collar foreman Oscar, explains how he sank deeper and deeper into trouble. After picking up some booze to celebrate the big win, Oscar (Kyrre Hellum) returns to his flat to find one of his partners dead and an uneasy truce between the other two, Oscar’s lifelong friend and criminal foul-up Thor (Mads Ousdal) and vicious delinquent Billy (Arthur Berning). Dismemberment and disposal are the order of the day, though a Hitcher-like stray severed finger remains in the snack bowl. Soon, Oscar is worried that his comrades find dividing the jackpot into thirds too difficult and there’s a nasty way of making the arithmetic simpler. Then a local bigwig Thor owes money to gets wind of the prize.
A black farce rather than a thriller, this is one of those Usual Suspects-y things which requires close attention, offering a multiple choice of What Has Actually Happened that might require a second viewing to sort out.
Verdict - Casually gruesome and corpse-littered, it’s a shaggy dog story with an almost buried emotional core about friendship, betrayal, temporary alliance and craftiness."
UK RELEASE 10 August 2012
RUNNING TIME 86 minutes
LANGUAGE Norwegian (Subtitled)
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