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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Bedrag" )

 

directed by Per Fly, Jannik Johansen, Søren Balle, and Søren Kragh-Jacobsen
Denmark 2016

 

When detective Mads Justesen (Thomas Bo Larsen, THE CELEBRATION is summoned to the seaside to investigate the body of a man washed up on the shore, the marks on his neck point to a suspicious death, and he discovers that the victim was a Ukranian worker at a nearby wind farm. The dead man's father (also a worker) insists that the death was an accident on-the-job, and Mads discovers that there have been a number of freak accidents at the farm and others belonging to energy company Energreen and that the company has blamed subcontractors whenever the labor protectorate investigated. When Mads pushes the workers to speak up, their contract is canceled and they are shipped out (with the exception of the dead man's father whose own apparent suicide is suspicious). Mads' boss Preben (Henning Valin Jakobsen) pushes him to close the case and not to investigate further, insisting that he take time off to take care of his wife Kristina (Line Kruse, LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED) who suffers attacks of sclerosis that have her bedridden for long periods of time, leaving Mads to take care of their two children. While on leave, Mads is approached by fraud squad investigator Alf (Thomas Hwan, SOMEONE YOU LOVE) who have been looking for something solid on Energreen which is about to go public with their lucrative IPO.

Meanwhile, at Energreen, young lawyer Claudia Moreno (Natalie Madueño) is incensed when head of legal Mogens (Henrik Jandorf, FLAME AND CITRON) takes credit for the costly accounting error she discovered until he tasks her with the top secret investigation of who is leaking information to East Manchester Investments that is preempting their investments in German energy futures. She identifies the source of the leak in traders Peter (Martin Hylander Brucker, WHEN HEAVEN FALLS) and Mark (Thomas Voss, AFTER THE WEDDING) but goes over Mogens' head to the CEO Alexander Sødergren (Nikolaj Lie Kaas, OPEN HEARTS) when she suspects he is using her to implicate Sødergren for his own benefit. This show of loyalty and initiative nets her a promotion to head of legal when Sødergren fires Mogens, who points Mads and Alf towards East Manchester Investments before he is offered a generous severance package. With the arrests of Peter and Mark inevitable, Sødergren tasks Claudia with firing them and providing them with a severance package generous enough to buy their silence (with the plan of giving them up to the police once they have landed in Brazil with which Denmark does not have an extradition treaty), but Sødergren is forced to throw in another four million Euros in cash when Peter reveals the leverage he possesses on an iPad. Peter's car is jacked by mechanics/small-time car thieves Nicky (Esben Smed Jensen) and Bimse (Lucas Hansen, THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II) with the cash and the iPad, and the pair soon find that the money they agreed to split and hide until it could be safely laundered has landed them in trouble with Serbian car thieves, Hell's Angels, Nicky's father-in-law (Henrik Noël Olesen, EXIT), and Sødergren's sinister Swedish partner (Claes Ljungmark, ARNE DAHL) who goes after the iPad when Nicky tries to blackmail Sødergren with it. Although Mads and Alf have been steered towards Peter and Mark by a wiretap of East Manchester Investments (which turns out to be in the middle of Copenhagen), Mads suspects that someone hire up has sanctioned their frontrunning. As Mads, Alf, department head Nanna (Signe Skov) – initially doubtful about the investigation but needing something bit to fend off budget cuts – and prosecutor Henriettte (Stine Stengade, FEAR ME NOT) probe the backgrounds of other Energreen personnel – including CFO Ulrik (Lars Simonsen, THE BRIDGE) – Claudia is seduced by power as travels with Sødergren and the small circle of higher ups on a globe-hopping roadshow to attract more investors before the IPO opens.

Although the original Danish title BEDRAG translates as "betrayal", the English title FOLLOW THE MONEY is fitting for this "Nordic Noir" as characters on both sides of the law come to realize that the bottom line dictates and justifies the risks some are willing to take with their own and other people's lives and money. What could have been a dry or even light-hearted cat-and-mouse thriller is made compelling by tight plotting and an emphasis on the human costs on both sides. Mads is driven as much by his fears about the turns of his wife his illness as a concern for social justice that he is willing to bend the rules at the risk of sabotaging the integrity of the investigation. Claudia learns the hard way that she has sacrificed her own integrity and is losing her soul (and the love of her own young son) as she acts in the interest of the company (and her career) while denying what her gut tells her about charismatic and passionate Sødergren's practices. It seems even that villain Sødergren's own corporate immorality has evolved out of a policy of plausible deniability and willful ignorance of the illegal acts carried out by his accountants, lawyers, traders, subcontractors, the board, and even his Swedish problem solver (however many times Sødergren tells him to hold off on more drastic measures). Paralleling the corporate predation of investors is the victimization of car thieves Nicky and Bimse by just as (or even more) criminally reprehensible people who bully and intimidate them into surrendering the money as if they were somehow more entitled to it than the self-proclaimed "amateur" thieves. The ending might have been perfect had the series been content to punish perhaps the least culpable of those implicated, but it decides to give the dispense some last second justice to a character who might have made a brazen return in a second season. What remains is still a slow-burn thriller that becomes increasingly riveting with each episode.

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: 1 January 2016 - 28 February 2016 (Danish TV)

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DVD Review: Arrow Films (Nordic Noir & Beyond) - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

Also available on Blu-ray:

 

Distribution

Arrow Films

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 9:41:44 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

2.20:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: ~6.0 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Danish/English Dolby Digital 5.1; Danish/English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Arrow Films

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.20:1

Edition Details:
� Disc One:
� - 1.01 (16:9; 58:28)
� - 1.02 (16:9; 59:02)
� - 1.03 (16:9; 58:22)
� Disc Two:
� - 1.04 (16:9; 58:56)
� - 1.05 (16:9; 57:22)
� - 1.06 (16:9; 58:28)

� Disc Three:
� - 1.07 (16:9; 57:20)
� - 1.08 (16:9; 58:36)

� Disc Four:
� - 1.09 (16:9; 57:18)
� - 1.10 (16:9; 57:52)

DVD Release Date: April 25th, 2016
Amaray

Chapters 70

 

 

 

Comments

Arrow splits the ten episodes of this series onto four dual-layer discs (three each on the first two discs and two each on the remaining). Compression is generally good apart from a couple long shots with fine detail (screenshot 3 for instance). The image is framed at 2.20:1 and the color palette favors the grays and blues we associate with Nordic Noir along with the sometimes harsh contrasts of streaming sunlight into dark interiors or overhead fluorescent lights. The audio defaults to a satisfying Dolby Digital 5.1 track but a 2.0 stereo downmix is also available but only via remote. The optional English subtitles are without errors and keep up with the fast-paced dialogue. There are no extras.

The concurrent Blu-ray release HERE is probably the better choice for fans or those for whom any "Nordic Noir" is a must-have.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

Also available on Blu-ray:

 

Distribution

Arrow Films

Region 2 - PAL

 




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