Wednesday, August 05, 2015

"Headhunters": in Norway, a little man wants to have it all, not always legitimately; socialism doesn't end greed

Headhunters” (“Hodedegerne”, 2011, directed by Morten Tyldum, Norway), from Yellow Bird, is an action European-Scandanavian thriller in the style of the original “Dragon Tattoo” movies.  It is based on a crime novel by Jo Nesbo, of the same name.  The author’s output of bestsellers would give new fiction authors reason to ponder just does sell big with the public, in this case, in Europe.

People in information technology, of course, think of "headhunters" as agency entrepreneurs who call them about jobs in other companies. 
In the beginning, the protagonist, Roger Brown (Aksel Hennie) is not that admirable.  He wants to make up for his short stature (66 inches) by having it all.  He works as a “headhunter” for companies, and one particular candidate Ove (Elvin Sander), a dishonest employee at a security company, has his own kind of headhunting in mind.  Roger has a side business, stealing rare art work for rich clients.  (That reminds me of the character “Gentle”, an art forger for openers, in Clive Barker’s novel “Imajica”, which may soon be a TV series;  don’t know if there was any cross-inspiration.)  Roger is troubled by his wife’s (Diana, played by Synnove Micody Lund) need for a baby and inability to satisfy it, and the possibility she cheats.  But Roger also cheats himself. Roger embarks on an adventure to get Ove to help him steal a particular work.
At the end, there may well be progeny. But you wonder if Roger had this kind of self-concept problem, how did he have enough libido to attract a taller wife and marry anyway? People hadn't become particularly important to him. 
There is a lot in this movie to look at.  The locker room scene where Roger notices Ove’s scars;  then the sequence where Roger finds Ove poisoned in his car, tries to dispose of him and finds a cold lake revives him, and then shoots him “accidentally” anyway.  (The “milk” reference might have come from “Twin Peaks”.)  The after the big mountain car chase and wreck, Roger pretends to be dead himself, and then later shaves his head, thinking there are nanotechnology transmitters in his scalp hair.  He looks like the alien of the opening scene of Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus”.

There is also mention of an odd cream that is applied to the skin under clothes (maybe the chest) with nanotransmitters (maybe with carbon nanotubes?).  Maybe this could be used as a kind of Holter device for heart patients.  If this really exists, it offers real ideas for future movie plots.

The official site is here. The movie can be rented on YouTube for $2.99. 

The (Netflix) DVD from Magnolia has a featurette showing the filming, and the elaborate preparations for the mountain accident scene.

Wikipedia attribution link for "Geirangerfjord from Ørnesvingen, 2013 June" by Ximonic (Simo Räsänen) - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - 

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