Despite the evenings drawing in, it may feel like the last the last thing you need in your life is another Nordic noir binge-watch, especially when we’ve been holding our own in the gloomy crime thriller stakes, from >Happy Valley to the current murder fest Rellik. Even the title of Denmark’s latest export, Norskov, has an indeterminate, generically Scandi quality to it.
Which feels intentional because Norskov refers to the town in which all the action takes place, based on and filmed in the real Frederikshavn, a post-industrial ferry port clinging on to the far north of the Jutland peninsula, as close to Oslo and Gothenberg as it is to the Danish capital. If you need any more help getting the vibe, Frederikshavn is twinned with North Tyneside.
Details, locations and vibes are what make Norskov stand out from the Baltic crowd. Yes, the landscapes are grey and wintry, there are dead bodies and secrets and lies, and nice lampshades and knitwear and BBQs in the middle of winter and generally attractive people drinking alcohol and generally not raising their voices.
But expectations are also subverted. The first body, a teenage girl, isn’t killed by a twisted serial killer but by the strength of the coke she sniffs in the back of a car with some friends. And the second body, the coke-addicted mother of the boy who is being framed for supplying the girl, may be down to her own guilty desperation.
Writer Dunja Gry Jensen has said she was influenced by >The Wire and her focus is on a community on the precipice as well as the clash of hopes against the material and spiritual decay that courses between long-held relationships. Policeman Tom Noack (Thomas Levin, recognisable from Borgen) may look like a cleaner-cut deadringer for Jimmy McNulty, but so far, apart from a soft spot for old girlfriends, he seems thankfully free of the demons and darkness that seem to afflict so many of Denmark’s officers. Middle-aged nostalgia, small-town boredom and personal duplicity are so far, the most dangerous forces at work in Norskov, with political and business ambitions simmering in the background.
Director Louise Friedberg shoots nearly every scene in intense close-up, as if you were starring into the characters’ faces yourself. It’s intensely intimate, uncomfortably so at times – you feel like a voyeur when Tom and Diana rekindle their passion. But, ironically, the closeness broadens out the shadows and silences, recalibrating your nerves so you too feel like you are part of the action, and the thwack of an ice-hockey stick in the middle of a frantic game has more menace than a knife in a body. Thank God. If you find yourself hooked, you can binge watch the rest of the episodes on >Walter Presents on Channel 4’s on demand service.
Source : https://inews.co.uk/essentials/culture/television/tv-review-norskov-channel-4-nordic-noir-touch-tyne-gets-close-personal/
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