|Index||5 reviews in total|
The trailer for this(which, I might add, does not give everything away) had me considering if it might be worth a trip to the theater, and I was not disappointed. Within the first few seconds, this marks itself as a sharply written, smart and subtle film, and while that was something I already knew we were capable of putting up on the big screen, it never hurts to see us doing it again. After a career in journalism, Martin Vinge has gone into headhunting, meaning, he researches to find the best candidate for important positions in companies, and he pursues it quite enthusiastically. The fact that he's very skillful at it gets him the attention of the massive, powerful and influential Sieger concern. He is assigned to find the aging director's successor... without the rest of management knowing about it. The plot is genuinely interesting, rather well-told, you don't lose track of any of what's going on at any point, in spite of it being plenty complex. It also develops well throughout, and the pacing is spot-on, I was engaged and emotionally involved from start to finish. There are nice, effective twists and a slowly growing sense of paranoia. The acting is excellent. Mikkelsen by no means needs to be in his brother's shadow, because his intense, underplayed and flawless performance in the lead is strong. You believe the attachment that he can't entirely admit to himself. Moritzen, Munck, Enevold and Harris are also impeccable. The child who portrayed Jakob was completely convincing, and we truly care about him. Every character is credible, and the fleshing out of them is satisfying. The humor is appropriate, clever, funny, doesn't try too hard and does not take over from the serious tone of the story. This builds suspense and tension expertly well, and it is exciting and cool, without going beyond what we "buy" with the typical amount of suspension of disbelief. The theme of father-son relationships is definitely clear throughout; it almost borders on being excessively mentioned, as the one place where this is a tad obvious, and doesn't rely solely on the art of suggestion. This is well-scored. The production value leaves nothing to be desired. Cinematography and editing are masterful. While Hammerich directed Unge Andersen, the only other thing I've seen of his, magnificently, as well, this is superior. Thank you, Rumle. You help raise the bar for our country's efforts in the medium. I recommend this to any fan of those who made it, and/or the thriller genre. 8/10
Martin Vinge is an accomplished recruiter of high-profile business
talent, a man who thrives on corporate cut and thrust. Less successful
as the estranged father of a seriously ill son, and carrying regret
from his time as an investigative journalist and an incident involving
a politician, he faces his biggest test yet when embroiled in the
dynastic politics of a large shipping company.
Writer/director Rumie Hammerich invests this tale with Shakespearean gravitas. with Martin ostensibly in the employ of Lear-like elder Sieger, but menaced by his Iago-esque son Daniel. The chrome and steel surfaces of the offices shine and the Ikea domestic interiors are all hard edges, giving the film a David Fincher look while also heightening the cold, amoral shenanigans of the players. Martin's weak point is his son, and he plays a precarious balancing game in selling out to get his son the private medical care he needs, while simultaneously going after the truth of the story that his deep moral core compels him to uncover.
Lars Mikkelsen as Martin Vinge is brooding and conflicted. His one connection is journalist Nina (Charlotte Munck), unhappily married, compromised and flawed, as if to say Martin could only be attracted to a female version of himself. Except she is a decent parent. Mikkelsen's performance is perfect, always keeping things just below the surface so that we go along with Martin on his journey without ever truly getting to know why he embraces the contradictions of his undertaking so fully. There are some satisfying twists along the way, and moments of droll humour. Martin entering a room where only the women remain, and their synchronized pointing to the elevator, is a visual delight. In fact, the visual sheen of the whole film is rapturous, most reminiscent of Fincher's The Game.
This is a high quality thriller that exhibits judicious economy and steady pacing. It is the film Michael Clayton wanted to be. Mature, thoughtful filmmaking with a woody Scandinavian scent.
This is a film which deserves a much bigger audience, and once again
I'm delighted I have used time on a great Danish thriller, and the
second headhunter-thriller from Scandinavia, even called almost the
same, the Norwegian "Headhuinters". Both are great, but very different.
Martin Winge is a good headhunter; though a lonely guy and with true integrity. His weakest point is a very sick son, he'll do anything for. When he is contacted to find a new boss to the largest Danish company, because the son who is to inherit isn't suited for the job, the run is on.
The Danish critics have all been giving this film great approval, and many says it's the best since the great "Kongekabale". I agree. This is a kind of film I really enjoy! Not perfect, but still not far from it! The director Rumle Hammerich is co-writer, and has done a fabulous job.
The actors are doing great, the plot and manuscript functions, and so does all the technical stuff. Lars Mikkelsen is fabulous, and so is Flmming Enevold and the rest. This is the kind of films which Hollywood love to remake. I won't be surprised when I see this as a Hollywood outing.
One of the best business thrillers I've seen! I get so happy when I stumble upon good films like this one. Pick it up!!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Searching round on Amazon UK for a DVD to the recent adaptation of Jo Nesbo's excellent Nordic Noir novel,I spotted an interesting looking,similar-sounding title,which was being sold at a very pricey sum.
Taking a look at some DVDs that a family friend had recently picked up,I was happily caught by surprise,when I discovered that he had recently picked up the movie,which led to me getting ready to go on a second Nordic Noir Head-hunter mission.
After visiting his seriously ill son Jacob, legendary business head- hunter (and former investigating journalist) Martin Vinge receives a mysterious invitation from N.F. Sieger,who is the head of one of the biggest companies in the country. Signing a non-disclosure agreement before he even gets a chance to shake his hand,Vinge is told by Sieger that he must keep all of his future activities undercover.
With having led the company for most of his 85 years,Sieger finds himself nervous about his son Daniel taking over the company,due to Daniel not showing the drive and dedication which will keep the family company alive for future generations.Wanting to push Daniel out of the boardroom in an underhanded manner,Sieger tells Vinge to hunt for three candidates who he believes could become the new CEO. Accepting Sieger's offer,Vinge quickly makes a list of 3 people,and sets off to meet Sieger again. Expecting to see N.F. Sieger,Vinge is stopped in his tracks by Daniel,who tells Vinge that N.F. is deluded,and that Vinge should focus on the health of his son,and not that of the company.Furious over Daniel's threat,Vinge soon finds himself to become the hunted.
View on the film:
Locking Vinge up in the cut-throat business world,co-writer/(along with Åke Sandgren)director Rumle Hammerich and cinematographer Dan Laustsen open up Sieger's murky business world with elegantly spares wide-shots,which are covered in a metallic bronze that reveal the lack of any human warmth in this corporate Neo-Noir world.Keeping physical attacks on Vinge limited to a claustrophobic fight scene involving a coat hanger (!),Hammerich brilliantly attacks Vinge psychologically ,by surrounding him in unrelenting charcoal blacks,with the only shots of light that Vinge receives coming from his sons hospital bed.
Whilst the title does not feature a high blood-drenched body count,the screenplay by Hammerich & Sandgren stacks the cooperate bodies high with a venomous fury,as the both Sieger show themselves to only care about what is good "for business." Exposing all of Vinge's deep flaws,the writers deliver an extraordinary twist,which thanks to their delicate skill leads to the title having a "realistic" horror atmosphere,that reveals itself,when Vinge discovers how deep he has sunk into this Nordic Noir world.
Puffing away on his rotten cigars, Henning Moritzen gives a fantastic performance as N.F. Sieger,who Moritzen at first paints as warm & cuddly,only to slowly peel away the charm and expose a Nordic Noir brute,who Moritzen shows to have a keen eye on knowing when to hit the perfect aggravating note. Slithering across the screen, Lars Mikkelsen gives an excellent performance as Martin Vinge,as Mikkelsen's cold hard stare stays firm in front of his family,but weakens when Vinge re-awakens his old investigation skills,as Vinge hunts for the head of the Sigel's firms head.
Normally I don't really go for this kind of movies but I'm glad I gave it a shot. The story start a little slow but then the tension builds up and before you know you're completely into the story. I don't really like multinational businesses and their lobbying and this movie is a good example of it. With money you get power and with power you can do whatever you want and get away with it. The actors are all good, the filming is also good.this movie proves that Danish can also produce a good thriller without too much costs. You can't go wrong with this one if you like business-thrillers. I probably only will watch it once in my life but I'm glad I did it.
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