Monday, 19 August 2013


“Murder is unique in that it abolishes the party it injures, so that society has to take the place of the victim and on his behalf demand atonement or grant forgiveness; it is the one crime in which society has a direct interest.” – W.H. Auden
We are currently watching a very good TV series on DVD, hence we haven’t watched any movies lately. We are in the midst of viewing the first season of the 2011 series “The Killing” starring Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman and Billy Campbell. This is an American remake of the original 2007–2012 Danish TV series “Forbrydelsen”, which received rave reviews and had a tremendous following around the world. If you have been reading my movie reviews on this blog, you know that I like subtitles so the reason we are watching the American version is because we were unable to get original Danish version. All that said, we are enjoying this version and it is this one that I shall briefly review here.
The events surrounding the brutal murder of Rosie Larsen, a teenager living in Seattle, are examined in great detail in this series, with each episode setting out to explore the discoveries, relationships and events that take place on a single day of the investigation. The first season comprises 16 episodes, 45 minutes each. Central to the investigation is Detective Sarah Linden who at the commencement is on what supposedly is her last day on the job. She and her son Jack are booked to leave that evening to join her fiancé in Sonoma, California Her replacement, Detective Stephen Holder, is ready to take over but they answer a call from a patrol car who have found a bloodied pullover in a field. When the missing girl, is found in the boot of a car at the bottom of a lake it turns out the car is registered to the campaign committee of councilman Darren Richmond, who is running for mayor. Linden delays her departure for what she hopes will be only a few days. This causes many complications, not only in her professional life, but also her personal life.
The series is extremely well made and the acting is very good. Although Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman playing the two detectives are the stars of the show, all other actors involved in larger or smaller roles play convincingly and contribute to the success of the series. Although this is a police drama, there are quite a few subplots and we get an intriguing insight into the lives of the people involved in the crime, with several guilty secrets being gradually revealed as the show progresses. It seems there are no “good” and “bad” guys, no white or black behaviours, only shades of grey. As more is revealed about each character, our suspicions shift and different motives for the murder are explored, suspects parade in front of us and are absolved of suspicion as we learn more about them…
The series has gone into a second and third season, so one presumes that there many more twists and turn in the plot and one wonders how the writers kept the viewing public engaged. However, if the first season is any indication, the following seasons’ episodes do keep the interest up and the viewers have stayed glued to the TV set. We are enjoying the show and the lives, motives, past actions and hidden lives of the characters is what is interesting and engaging. We are still hoping to get to see the Danish series and compare it to the American one. If you have watched both, I would appreciate your evaluation and comparison.
One has to mention in the same breath the 2011 American remake of the original 2009 Swedish film “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, which I have reviewed here on this blog. The original film was so good that I am reluctant to watch the American version – at least not in the immediate future. Of course one has to make allowance for the tastes and inclinations of the general English-speaking viewing public who are loath to read subtitles in foreign language films, hence one can understand the remake. However, this reluctance to watch films with subtitles severely limits the viewing pleasure of the English speaker, as many excellent foreign language films do not get remade for English speakers. In any case, I often find that I switch on subtitles in even English speaking films as the accents, background noise, music soudtrack and sound recording are so bad or intrusive, that understanding everything that is said is very hard…

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