Life through my myopic eyes.

Headhunters/Hodejegerne (2011): Short Man Attitude…


At the risk of sounding like an old Carlsberg lager advertisement, Headhunters is probably the best film adaptation of a book…ever. With a screenplay by Lars Gudmestad and Ulf Ryberg based on the book by Jo Nesbo and directed by Morten Tyldum, Headhunters is a thriller of the highest order with more than capable acting from all involved.

The film stars Aksel Hennie as the 1.68 metre hero Roger Brown; Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as the Dutchman Clas Greve (and if ever there was a man born to play Resident Evil’s Leon Kennedy it’s Nikolaj, he looks like he’s stepped right out of Resi 4 or Resi 6); Nikolaj will be better known by English audiences from his work on Game of Thrones. The two female leads in the film are Synnøve Macody Lund as Diana Brown and Julie R. Ølgaard as the scheming Lotte. Synnøve is not an actress by profession, she’s a journalist and this is her first film. That she acquitted herself so well is amazing.

I first saw Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in the 1994 Norwegian film Nightwatch. Interestingly, this was remade in 1997 as a vehicle for Ewan McGregor who went on to work with Nikolaj in 2001′s Blackhawk Down. It is interesting in that both actors display similar virtues in their work, a subtlety and awareness that enhance their performances and make them stand out in a film.

For those of you who have read Jo Nesbo’s brilliant book, you will know the plot already. If you have not had the pleasure of reading Headhunters, I suggest you rush down to your local book seller or library and do so. In the mean time, you will have to follow my recitation of the plot.

Roger Brown is one of Norway’s best headhunters. He is married to Diana and he lives a lavish lifestyle well above his salary. To supplement this lifestyle, he steals valuable art work and sells them with the help of his partner in crime Ove Kijkerud (played with a certain comic deviousness by Eivind Sander, who looked maddeningly familiar to me). Despite Roger’s supplemental income, he’s running low on financial resources and Diana is desperate for a child after seven years of marriage.

Roger Brown (Aksel Hennie)

While attending his wife’s art gallery opening he meets Clas Greve via an introduction by Diana. Roger discovers that Clas, who is the ex-CEO of a multimillion dollar GPS company a priceless painting in his possession and that he would be perfect for Roger’s current client Pathfinder. A Norwegian GPS company searching for a new CEO.

When Roger (with the aid of Ove) breaks into Clas’s flat to steal the painting, he finds Diana’s mobile (cell) phone in the bedroom. The next time he sees Clas, he tells him that the company is still interviewing candidates for the new position and he tells Diana that he will not be recommending Clas for the job.

Clas Greve (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau)

We see Ove going to Roger’s house to presumably pick up the painting. The next morning Roger goes to his garage to get in his car to drive to work. He discovers Ove apparently dead in the front seat of his car. Panicking, Roger shoves Ove into the boot (trunk) of his car just as Diana comes down to see if he (Roger) is all right.

Roger takes Ove’s body to a lake and fills the body’s pockets with stones and rolls Ove into the lake. As Roger sits on the lake shore catching his breath, Ove suddenly appears gasping for his breath only to sink under the water again. Roger jumps in and drags Ove out and takes him to his house.

Ove tries to shoot Roger and ends up getting shot for his trouble. Roger’s life had become a scary cat and mouse game with him as the mouse. Clas will not stop until he has killed Roger.

The locations are beautiful and the cinematography is superb. Despite the “creative license” taken with the book, the film works and manages to crank the suspense up just as effectively as the novel itself did. You still find yourself second guessing and because certain things were changed in the film, you hold your breath at the end, just in case it doesn’t turn out how you expected it to.

Askel does a brilliant job as Roger Brown, the short man with attitude. He seemed to me (looks wise) to be an odd cross between Christopher Walken and David Hemmings. His acting was spot on, morphing effortlessly from over-confident prig to terrified victim to desperate fighter. He rang all the changes necessary to sell his character.

Nikolaj has always made me think of Sean Bean, they could almost be brothers, and he has not disappointed me yet in anything I’ve seen him in.

The film can be viewed in Norwegian with English subtitles and I would highly recommend viewing it that way. It is very rare that dubbed versions are as enjoyable as the original language version. I always feel that a huge amount is lost by having another actor voice the lines. I would give Headhunters a whopping 5 out of 5 stars and class it as a two bag of popcorn film.

Don’t miss it and don’t wait for the remake, see it now!

Clas and his best friend on the hunt for Roger.

 

Tagged as: , , , , , , ,

Categorised in: Entertainment, Film Reviews, Norwegian Cinema, Scandi-Crime, World Cinema

12 Responses »

  1. I think, besides the wonderful action set pieces, why I really, really enjoyed this film is that it’s a reflection of the economic/social times of the 00s, and the financial mess it engendered. What the protagonist needs to do to extricate himself (metaphorically) parallels our own. Loved this clever little gem.

  2. I couldn’t wait to get caught up so I skipped right to this one! Great review, Mike

  3. Nice to see you finally managed to watch it and enjoyed it so much. I loved it too, the mix of violence, humor and a bit of mystery come together perfectly.

  4. I never read the book but I loved the film Mike. Now that the dust has settled on 2012, I’d say it’s one of the best films of the year and if I ever get round to compiling a top ten list, then this would certainly make the cut. I loved it!

  5. Speaking of hunts – did you see The Hunt (Thomas Vinterberg,2012) Mike? Quite a different hunt that the one in Headhunters but a great film – I think I’d put it up there as my favourite film all last year, Headhunters would be up there too.

  6. Hey thanks for the pingbacks!! Cheers mate!

Trackbacks

  1. Best-selling Norwegian author, Jo Nesbø, comes to the big screen, kicking off Splendid Cinema’s Winter 2013 schedule! | splendidcinema

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Goodreads

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 12,794 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 120,944 hits

Liebster Award

Liebster Award

The Versatile Blogger Award

The Versatile Blogger Award

Inspiring Blogger Award

Inspiring Blogger Award

Super Sweet Blogging Award

Super Sweet Blogging Award

The Blonde on Movies

"Cinema should make you forget you are sitting in a theater." ~Roman Polanski

Panda's Choice

Movie Reviews and Weekly Chronicles

tonybeig

Tony Beig - Promotional Clothing 2015

Kevin Taggart

Various excerpts From My Books, Blogs, 55 Worders and other interesting bits and bobs!

Despair to Deliverance

A True Story of Triumph Over Severe Mental Illness and How You Can Triumph Too

Mourgos' Book & Film Reviews!

Best Book & Movie Reviewer Ever!

I Am Not The Batman

You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become a blogger.

Damian Thomas Films.. Etc

Film based randomness

thecoffeespirit!

Just a few thoughts, here and there.

Bibliophilopolis

This is a log of the author's reading activity, begun 1/1/2010

3D Fantasy Art Blog

3D Fantasy Art

THE AMAZING MOMENTS IN DAILY

"FVS" Alan Reynaldi Husain

The Venetian Vase

crime and detective fiction

Fabletechnologies (Fable Technology USA)

Web Development Company USA

Cutenesss

More than just beauty & looks

Lightningpen's Blog

Imagination becomes art when passion tricks insecurity

southern star wanderer

Because not all who wander are lost ~J.R. Tolkien

Cyan Attributes

Smile! You’re at the best. Change is good. The sooner you start, the sooner you'll see the difference.

AddHorizon

A blog about anime, fun, life, humor and entertainment!

larondedelivres

On ne vit qu'une fois

Geek Is The New Black

A blog about movies, TV, art and whatever else I can come up with

The Newswatch Television Official Blog

Telling America's Story for Over 20 Years

Kate's Blog

Photography & Entrepreneur Daily Tips

Words

Sometimes words are enough

Luminous Yellow Corner

A site that captures attention, the color of hope and sunshine.

colombiancuties

As Cuties of Colombia we're lifting our great Nation.

MrHairyBrit - Hairy YouTube Man

Bloggy Home of the Vloggy YouTuber

OdesIsPro

Living the creative life as messy as I can.

Dave's Corner of the Universe

Where strange fact and stranger fiction collide

Ad Burp

Where am I going? Who will i be? This is my self-discovery

Yacon Syrup

And other stops on my journey to "fit!"

My Blog

A fine WordPress.com site

Art Attack

Discovering art in everything

Globe Drifting

Global issues, travel, photography & fashion. Drifting across the globe; the world is my oyster, my oyster through a lens.

All Hands Drug Treatment

Addiction Resource & Sober Living Ideas

JoelMwakasege

Success Videos Cu-ration Site.

War, Conflict & Resolution

A collection of short stories commemorating WWI

The Riparian Times

The Riparian Times is a boutique publication with musings about life, travel, fashion and art.

successlabtv

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

7cliquemovement

A topnotch WordPress.com site

Small Business Management Tips

This WordPress.com site is the cat’s pajamas

Danescourt Camera Club

Teaching Camera Techniques for skill development. All the theory on our Blog to help understand Manual Settings on your Digital Camera

UPDAT MOVIE

watch hd full movie online free, download dh movie,watch hollywood movie, bollywood movie, tollywood movie, movie song, mp3 song, sports, online free game, online full movie, watch star plus episode,

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 12,794 other followers

%d bloggers like this: