Scandinavia's palookaville, it appears, is in northern Norway. And Swedish police inspector Jonas Engstrom (Stellan Skarsgard) resents the hell out of being there, even if the locals do treat him like some kind of super cop. Engstrom and his partner Erik
Vik (Sverre Anker Ousdal) have been called in to investigate the murder of a local 17-year-old named Tanja (Maria Mathiesen), who left a party after a fight with her boyfriend and was later found, her body nude and washed clean, in a garbage dump. The aloof Engstrom launches a methodical
investigation, but both he and it begin to unravel after the clever trap he sets for the killer goes awry: In a moment of fog-bound chaos, Engstrom accidentally shoots Vik, then makes the split-second decision to cover up the mistake and blame Vik's death on Tanja's still-at-large murderer.
Aggravated by the 24-hour glare of Norway's midsummer sun, which allows sleeplessness to fray his nerves, the strain of investigating one death while trying to cover up the circumstances of another leads Engstrom into a bizarre relationship with a calculating psychopath. Norwegian director Erik
Skjoldbjaerg's coolly detached first feature rejects every cliché of American crime thrillers with chilly disdain. The film's tone is reserved and perpetually wary; few bullets fly, no cars careen and neither prostitutes nor strippers play a part in the story, though there is a sullenly Lolita-ish
teen named Froya (Marianne O. Ulrichsen). Rather than a thrill ride, it's a sliver of ice through the heart.
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- Released: 1998
- Rating: NR
- Review: Scandinavia's palookaville, it appears, is in northern Norway. And Swedish police inspector Jonas Engstrom (Stellan Skarsgard) resents the hell out of being there, even if the locals do treat him like some kind of super cop. Engstrom and his partner Erik… (more)