Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Kraftidioten (In Order of Disappearance) (2014)

Director: Hans Peter Moland
Writer:    Kim Fupz Aakeson
Cast:       Stellan Skarsgard, Pal Sverre Hagen, Bruno Ganz
Languages: Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, English

The honorable citizen Nils (Skarsgard) has the job of ploughing snow in the wild winter mountains of Norway. When his son is mistakenly murdered, Nils takes action, which ignites a war between the vegan gangster "the count" (Hagen) and the Serbian mafia boss Papa (Ganz).

It has got a Scandinavian ensemble not just in terms of the nationality of actors but also the characters. Nils is Swedish, Count is Norwegian, his wife is Danish, Papa is Serbian and 'The Chinese' is actually Japanese. Many of the humor in it relies on the characters confusing the nationalities involved and it helps if you as a viewer correctly identifies it correctly. I could spot some of them based on what other Scandinavian films I have watched and the lady in it was in Borgen which is Danish. Each of the deaths are marked by a title card with their name and religion. Religions are denoted by the type of Cross and the sole Jewish guy is given that Jewish Star. I was disappointed that none of them were atheists but I guess the Vegan do count. The title of the film comes from the title cards and is also marked during the closing credits where all the actors' names are shown together and each of them disappearing from the screen in order of disappearance. 

It is very funny and exquisite to watch. The snow clad mountain and the confusion that ensues would remind one of Fargo but got to say this one is much funnier and less darker. The whole thing is an in-joke about setting a gangster picture in a civilized place like Norway. Some of the immigrant gangsters are bemused by the way things are in Norway and is evident in the way they talk about the lack of violence and rapes in Norwegian prisons. They also reckon welfare is the only thing that keep people in such a cold and shitty place. The funniest of all is the kidnapped school kid talking about Stockholm Syndrome. 

Overall it is just about perfect and a very enjoyable watch which continues to surprise as it progresses. The body disposal technique of Nils is just breathtaking. I haven't seen any other films from the director who seem to favor crime comedies.

Rating: 4.5/5