Friday, September 30, 2016

The Keeper of Lost Causes

2nd Danish Film Festival
Shang Cineplex 

Nordic noir refers to a genre of crime fiction movies from the Scandinavian countries which usually features dark, complex and bleak story lines. They are not necessarily horror movies but essentially deal with disturbing plots with twists and complex, flawed characters. It is a genre that piques my cinematic interest so this film was right up my alley. 

A previous police operation which Detective Carl Morck headed went horribly wrong, he lost a colleague and his best friend/partner was paralyzed. Taking 3 months off to recover, both physically and mentally, he is back. His superiors feel he is not ready to return to the homicide section just yet. Although he is a good, meticulous detective, he also has an attitude problem.

He is dispatched to Department Q which is the closed cases section located in the decrepit basement of the police HQ. He is also assigned an assistant named Assad, a Middle Eastern born cop whose calm demeanor and genteel personality is the complete opposite of the arrogant, brooding Carl. 

Their main task was to simply categorize and submit 2 page reports for each case. But Carl proceeds to re-open the 5 year old case of Merete Lynggaard, a young female politician whose disappearance from a ferry was deemed a suicide yet her body was never found. 
The film may sound like an average episode of CSI but fortunately it had much more to offer. The unsuspecting twists, the convoluted characters, the dreary locales, the manner the back story of Merete was screened through seamless flashback scenes, the  disturbingly dark yet suspenseful narrative which unfolds from this single cold case is enough to keep you on the edge of your seats. It had all the key elements of a good Nordic noir so it didn't disappoint, at all.

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