This had completely passed me by until my son and I took a chance on it on Netflix last night. We didn’t choose with great conviction. (Subtitled, slow looking and only really one character – could it possibly hold our attention?)
The movie consists of essentially one character on screen, a disgraced police officer, who is serving a ‘punishment’ as a telephone dispatcher/call operator in a Copenhagen police call centre. However many characters are brought in through multiple phone calls to drive the narrative at breathtaking speed and in real time.
Virtually the entire movie takes place in two rooms in real time as he deals with a call from a woman who has been kidnapped by her husband. It becomes something of a whodunnit as the initial call, and the reasons behind her kidnapping, are expertly sleuthed by our hero, Jakob Cedergren, in a commanding performance that is expertly directed and written by Gustav Möller and filmed by Jasper Spanning. Bravo to both.
Nordic Noir you could call it, but it is an electrifyingly claustrophobic and intense tunner of a story that you cannot possibly predict each twist and turn. It turns out it was Denmark’s official foreign language Oscar entry and it’s plain to see why.
Magnificent and highly recommended.