Mar. 11th, 2011

alexandral: (Clarissa - Bean Writing a letter)
I have sailed through 2 seasons of this Danish show in a records time. For me, the show felt like fresh water on dry soil: it has been a long long while since a show challenged me on all different levels at once (intellectual, emotional and esthetical) . And this is considering that the first season moves with a book-like pace: the characters are explored and developed in depth, with careful attention to detail.

What is "The Killing"? First of all, it is a well-written whodunit story that concentrates on the Police hunts for the killer of a young girl (Nanna Birk Larsen) in the first season; and murderers in Mindelunden WW2 park in the second season . Both seasons involve a political story as well: Copenhagen Mayor election campaign in the season 1 and events in the Parlament surrounding new "anti-terrorism pack" proposal in the season 2 . The main character is Sarah Lund, a Danish police woman. I really appreciated the fact that in both seasons the killer wasn't someone who just appeared out of the blue. The hints to the killer's identity were accessible if you watched carefully. I really like this type of crime stories, where everyone and everything are not as they seem, but at the same time there are pieces of the puzzle thrown around to taunt our brain. My brain gets easily bored with the usual "the butlerthe most unlikely person did it!" crime storylines. I like to see what separates the killer from the rest of us, I love the psychological bits. In "The Killing" I guessed the killer in both seasons, but the show had me wondering and changing my mind until the end (both times).

But what truly set "The Killing" apart was the human drama aspect of the story. This is something we see quite rarely in Crime fiction: careful representation of the way the crime affects the family of the victim. One day Theis Birk Larsen is a happy man trying to make a hard living as a removalist; he just found that perfect house which his family is going to move into from the tiny rented flat. Another day everything falls apart following his daughter's murder, everything. The suffering of the family was so real that I found it truly hard to watch.

And if the show was not awesome enough after all this, it also had things to say about racism, class divide , society built on privilege and the war in Afghanistan.

It has some fantastic acting performances, especially from Sofie Gråbøl who lays Sarah Lund. I have a big crush on Lund, who is a lady of powerful intelligence. She has her shortcomings, but they just make her more human, not taking away even a bit from her uncompromising character. Her signature wear are knitted sweaters. I wish I could knit! The Internet is full of "knit a sweater like Sarah Lund's" pages!

The season 1 moves slowly and goes really deep, the season 2 moves much faster, with more victims but less depth.

Pictures! )


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