Headhunters – the Film

Headhunters is a Norwegian film based on the book by Jo Nesbø.  Nesbø is one of my favourite crime writers and I have read all of his books about Detective Harry Hole.  Headhunters which was published in 2008 is a stand alone novel outwith the Harry Hole series.  I haven’t read the book, so I was very much looking forward to the film version. And I was not disappointed.  It is a very clever and engaging film.  At first it looks like we are watching a film about art theft as the main character, Roger Brown, steals paintings to augment his income in order to buy luxuries for his gorgeous wife.  However things fairly quickly degenerate into a pulsating, edge of the seat thriller.  Brutal does not do justice to the violence and butchery that lies ahead.   Our reluctant hero, the aforementioned Roger, finds himself mixed up in a deadly pursuit by an extremely nasty villain.  The actual plot does not bear too much scrutiny, but this matters little as you are literally swept away by the pace and excitement of the chase.

Headhunters is yet another example of the creative strengths of film making in Scandinavia.  Sweden and Denmark have so far captured the headlines, so it was only a matter of time before someone hit upon Norway.  Where they are also very good if this film is anything to go by.  Tight direction and an excellent cast made up of actors who I imagine are pretty much unknown outside Scandinavia.  The filming makes good use of the contrast between the plush, rich interiors of the main characters and the bleak, austere countryside where most of the action takes place.  Let’s hope there are some more goodies to come from Scandinavia.

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