Sunday, 20 March 2011


The Killing - Sarah Lund
I'll admit that I'm quite a long way behind the latest episode of the rapidly concluding Danish detective series "the Killing", but I've been enjoying it in catch-up mode on the iPad. I was slightly disturbed to read that this has been discovered to be the mode for watching this series by its small audience.

I spent quite some time in Copenhagen a couple of years ago and enjoy the series as a kind of nostalgia as well as for its generally naturalistic acting, cleverly woven plotline and a type of realism less found in much of the Hollywood equivalent material.

It's set in November so there's a kind of automatic darkness to many of the scenes. There's an occasional skyline shot but even most of these are shot at night with neon lights. And a daylight skyline managed to include the hazed twin smokestacks of the DONG power station.

The main detective is a determined Sarah Lund, all pinned back hair and knitted sweaters and supposed to be relocating to Sweden but staying over to finish the case. Some slightly strange dialogue about whether she'd be understood in Sweden - given that there's a special trade zone between Copenhagen and the adjacent area of Sweden across the bridge. There's bicycles galore given the nature of the Copenhagen transport infrastructure and some parts of the plot revolve around borrowing cars in a particularly Danish way.

There's also some different continental manners, with lots of coffee, flatbreads and smoking indoors instead of hotdogs and doughnuts.

It's quite good to be able to be ahead of the somewhat gritty plot occasionally but never too sure when it will loop away unpredictably. Then as well as the detective story there's some town hall politics as another plot line.

I should mention it is in Danish, with subtitles, but its still eminently watchable and after a while a few of the phrases start to become recognisable.

I'll need self control to not dial up the last episodes on television and instead to watch in sequence before the DVDs arrive.

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