6 C
Byron Shire
August 15, 2022

Cinema Review: The Snowman

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If the novels of leading Scandi-noir crime writer Jo Nesbø are anything to go by, Oslo has even more murders per capita than Midsomer – it’s a wonder there is anybody left standing! But unlike those investigated by DCI Tom Barnaby, Nesbø’s fabulously named cop, Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender), has to deal with killings of an extremely violent nature. Beheadings by wire are the go in this, but the most gruesome homicide comes when a bloke gets the top of his head blown off by gunshot.

It was rather too graphic for my liking, but that apparently is what punters demand these days. Tomas Alfredson was director of the superbly weird Let The Right One In (a collector’s piece), so there can be no surprise in this movie’s dark, unsettling tone – or its coldness. You will have never been in a more icy, virtually colourless environment. As a mystery, however, it is a near non-starter, for there is a visual clue in the first act that is a partial giveaway as to the identity of the killer. Perhaps those responsible for the screenplay thought so too and decided to cloud the waters with obfuscation, cross-reference and a storyline that just does not gel into a cohesive whole. Too often I found myself wondering what the hell is going on now, and how is it related to what preceded it? Fassbender, who doesn’t so much act as smoke ciggies intensely and look worried, is a good Hole, but I can’t help thinking that Alfredson might have followed on from Morten Tyldum who, in his Headhunters (2008 – also adapted from Nesbø), found a kinkier tone to enhance the intrigue.

JK Simmons is peculiarly cast as a Norwegian philanthropist and there is a genuine surprise when a character whom you’d not normally expect to fall victim to the psychopath ends up dead in a car, minus a little finger. It’s heavy going for much of the time and only finds traction as Hole closes-in on the bad guy.


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