Subtle

Subtle isn’t a word which is very often applied to TV crime dramas, but the performances in the series I’m watching at the moment are just that – subtle. The programme I’m watching is called Norskov and it’s a Danish series about a drug problem in a small Northern industrial port. Tom Noack played by Thomas Levin,  has worked in law enforcement not just in Denmark but in other countries as well, difficult, challenging posts. He returns to the town of Norskov to help sort out the drugs issue, and arrives just as an old girl-friend of his from his youth dies in a car accident… at first it seems she died through drug-driving, but then it turns out she was dead before the car crashed, her death caused by 80% proof cocaine… Tom’s friends have all done well since he left the small town, one is the mayor, another a businessman… and it seems that someone close to Tom is involved in the drug smuggling.

The story slowly unfolds over the ten episodes; there is action but it is a slow-burn sort of drama. It is well-written, well-produced, well-acted… and subtle – which includes the lighting and the music. The filming is marvellous, really conveying the gritty reality of a small town battling for a future in a remote part of the country – in a beautiful part of the country.

One of the main characters who in the beginning seems just to be have a  minor subsidiary role in the drama, is the dead woman’s son, Oliver. He is a troubled young man who has struggled with his chaotic home life, struggled at school probably because he’s dyslexic, but is the star of the local ice-hockey team which is really popular – ice-hockey is obviously big in Denmark! Oliver has grown up without knowing who his father is – his mother has led the sort of life win which there may be several paternal candidates. Despite the tragic and brutal death of his mother which leaves him devastated, there are changes in Oliver’s life, changes for the better, and gradually he sees a future for himself, a happy and successful future.

In the episode I have just watched Oliver’s prospects for happiness once again seem dashed… However, it was the performance of the young actor, Mathias Käki Jørgensen, born in 1994, so was just twenty-one when the series was shown (he was obviously younger when it was actually filmed) As a young, not very well-educated character, Oliver doesn’t say much except to his friends, but it is the way he acts which just draws the eye to him whenever he’s on the screen. He expresses so much through movement or stillness and facial expression – or lack of it. I get the feeling that this young actor will go far, he is so talented!

Here is a link to the programme:

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/norskov

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