Starring Peter Haber, Kristofer Hivjul, Jonas Karlsson and Elmira Arikan
Nordic Noir & Beyond releases the new Beck DVD Box set with 4 intriguing episodes of 90 minutes length on Monday 10 October 2016. Swedish detective Martin Beck (played by renowned actor Peter Haber) and his team return to solve some challenging cases.
The series starts with how the demands of personal life made on one detective can change everyone's life. The storylines are riveting, combining fast moving detective work and chilling emotions. Characters are cleverly sculpted, so that you feel a wealth of surprising emotions. We meet a quirky new character in Norwegian homicide detective Steinar Hovland, played by Kristofer Hivjul.
Dialogue can be lively, but the prize goes to Ayda, Beck's office assistant for her razor sharp mind and chiseled responses.
No wonder this series has a solid cult following. The Swedish co-authors of the original detective novels, Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo created a rich minefield of settings, plots and characters for the small screen to develop. This short series is finely tuned with emphasis on loss, drama and emotional tension. However a careful sprinkling of humour throughout, truly makes this DVD set great entertainment.
Swedish with English subtitles.
Review by Nordann Lyshelt
Starring Barbara Sarafian, Kristine Van Pellicom, Ruth Becquart, Maaike Neuville, Inge Paulussen
THE OUT-LAWS is released on DVD on Monday 19th September by Nordic Noir & Beyond
This Belgian DVD box set from 'Nordic Noir and Beyond' is unmistakably Noir - the story opens with a funeral. The characters are Neurotic - who likes an aberrant brother-in-law? And interestingly, the situations in which the characters find themselves can be Naughty!
The dark mysteries of blood ties, marital relationships and young love unfold with revelatory flashbacks. The first revelations take place in church as the five Goethal sisters sit dutifully listening to the kindly intonations of the priest.
Throughout the episodes, you flit from Vandaag (ie today) to past events which helps cement an understanding of characters and background story. This works well, as the story rollercoasts past corpses, condolences and complications. Some of these complications come in the form of two somewhat bumbling insurance agent brothers who smell a rat!
The sisters are all intriguingly different, yet resemble each other in their sense of mischief with slips of the tongue, spilling of beans and skeletons in cupboards.
Humour is deftly worked into the episodes and successfully combines Noir, Neurotic and Naughty.
You will be entranced.
The Out-Laws has English subtitles. The release date is Monday 19 September 2016.
Starring Leszek Lichota, Bartlomiej Topa
Nordic Noir & Beyond releases the DVD set of The Border on Monday 5th September 2016.
This Polish drama is the first of its kind to be aired on UK TV on Channel 4 and All 4. From the outset, all is not what it appears. The stunning and vibrant countryside of the Bieszczady Mountains on the Polish/Ukraine border have a magnetic beauty. However in the deep ravines and dense forests lurks human trafficking masterminded by ruthless criminals. The team of Polish Border Guards central to the storyline are challenged by human tragedy throughout the six episodes and the tension is palpable. However Rebrow, the life-toughened main character faces personal tragedy. Through his loss, the viewer feels empathy as the story unravels a sordid mix of all-too-believable situations. The series title in Polish is Wataha - the wolf pack - but the English title of The Border conveys a richer meaning than simply the geographical. The notion is linked to crime noir and the border between Good and Evil. As the last episode finishes, anticipation for the 2nd HBO Poland series is very high! The series has English subtitles, but action and characters speak for themselves.
Polish with English subtitles.
Review by Nordann Lyshelt
Starring Salvatore Esposito, Fortunato Cerlino
This Italian series evokes with unremitting realism the violent day-to-day and oppressive lives of criminal clans in southern Italy. The dons and their 'soldiers' work in an atmosphere of ever shifting tense loyalties to not only dominate drug patches but also strive to initiate peace - somewhat ironically surely? Unsurprisingly all the episodes reveal bloody revenge and factional violence.
The feeling of menace never leaves the viewer and though the story strands draw us in, the filming is carefully character driven.
The film is dense with Italian culture, custom and religiosity forcing the viewer to chew over many aspects of the story. The grottiness of housing estates and the chaotic lives of their inhabitants is chilling stuff. Certain scenes are guaranteed to be remembered!. A chilling insignt into a world where everyone wants to be Caesar and control their own empire.
Arrow Films release GOMORRAH season two (12 episodes) on DVD and Blu-ray on Monday 25 July 2016.
This French TV series has achieved tremendous success in France, attracting more than 5 million viewers. BBC Four viewers are also in for a treat.
The title in itself is the hook. It suggests mystery, crime and suspense. Straightaway the viewer is cleverly guided as to who is about to disappear. Tension builds with subtlety as we are thrust into the busy ordinary lives of a French family in the city of Lyon. As we become acquainted with the characters and their relationships, the dread of coming events mounts. Scenes can be charming and playful yet the suspense is skilfully ever present.
Although the film is subtitled, the strength and tension of the storyline is so cleverly handled that it does not detract from the excitement of watching. Each episode closes with such impact, it is a pure and admirable cliff hanger.
The story is set in the beautiful sprawling city of Lyon with a large parkland where the mid-summer music festival central to the story takes place.
This TV series offers within the story itself many provocative questions for people of all ages. I rate this drama as the French would say - Dix Sur Dix (10/10)