Chief detective Carl Mørck and his assistant Assad become involved in a five-year-old case concerning the mystery of politician Merete Lynggaard's disappearance - a journey that takes them deep into the undercurrent of abuse and malice that lurks beneath the polished surface of Scandinavia.Written by
The main villain, Lars, is sent to the orphanage in 1991. Before this he set in the care of foster parents. In the living room these foster parents there is a combination VHS-DVD machine, which did not appear at least 15 years later. See more »
[Holding up a file]
This man swears Merete entered the men's room.
His statemen't useless.
Because he was drunk.
A pretty girl enters while you're holding your dick: you remember that drunk or not.
See more »
The latest in a long (endless?) line of fine Scandinavian police thrillers, The Keeper of Lost Causes (Kvinden I buret to give it its Danish title) is a taut, thrilling cop drama that compels and seizes the interest for the duration of its 97 minute running time.
In the aftermath of an ill-fated mission that leaves one colleague dead and another seriously injured, police inspector Carl Mørck (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) is bumped from his department and tasked with setting up Department Q, a dead-end desk job that requires him to spend the next few years ensconced in a dusty basement with a new partner, Assad (Fares Fares), tying up the loose ends on old cases. Instructed to close three cases per week, Mørck and Assad begin with the investigation of a politician, Merete Lynggaard (Sonja Richter) who disappeared five years previously. Written off as a suicide, Mørck is determined to prove there is more to the case and delves into a murky case of abuse, murder and kidnapping.
With both Kaas and Richter alumni of the original series of The Killing, and Fares a star of both Easy Money and Zero Dark Thirty, the central trio makes for a very solid human triptych, even if displayed as separate components (he wrote carefully, determined not to lead or hint or give anything away). The relationship between Mørck and Assad, particularly, is a sufficient variation of the 'cop buddies' partnership to make it feel new. Both policemen have their foibles, their differences and their similarities; Mørck is out of favour, Assad has been trusted with something vaguely resembling a promotion, Mørck is silent and brooding, Assad celebrates his new found 'freedom' with ear-bleeding music, Mørck is a battering ram, Assad invests time to achieve his results
As an aside, The Keeper of Lost Causes succeeds magnificently in portraying a Muslim character in a positive light in a film that isn't about that issue. Assad could be anyone; he just happens to be a Muslim.
Though The Keeper of Lost Causes will invariably be compared to The Killing, it is closer in tone to the thoughtfulness of Wallander and the cynicism of French series Spiral and is spiced with the dark violence of Larsson's Millennium trilogy. There is humour within the gloomy folds of this thriller but it is cold and cynical as befits a yarn of kidnap and murder.
I saw much of the outcome in the first fifteen minutes of The Keeper of Lost Causes but it was a still an electrifying journey that has a great deal to celebrate, not least of all a sublime accident sequence. Think 'ballet with cars' and you're getting close.
Like all good thrillers, The Keeper of Lost Causes works on the terror factor that it could happen. We don't tend to believe in zombies and vampires, although I'm up for a short-term zombocalypse armed with a crossbow and a katana, but humans with a vindictive streak and a penchant for malevolent revenge? Yep, they're far too real to ignore.
The Keeper of Lost Causes is a rare treat for another reason: it clearly sets itself up for a sequel and director Mikkel Nørgaard has duly obliged with the second adaptation of author Juss Adler-Olsen's novels, The Absent One (Fasandræberne), released in Denmark this autumn.
Roll on the end of the summer!
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