Moser Baer/Nimbus, Rs 399
Rating: *** 1/2
This tight political thriller realises a dream dreamt by almost all filmmakers: To make a riveting work without dishing out much dosh. Danish director Nikolaj Arcel manages to have us hooked without big-ticket actors and without any explicit action. There’s no lush cinematography or leading music. Nothing, in fact, distracts from the taut, modern-day story of a Faustian pact between journalists and politicians.
The leader of the popular opposition party suffers a car crash weeks before the election and goes into a coma. At about the same time, rookie journalist Ulrik Torp, son of the former justice minister Gunnar, gets to cover the coveted Parliament beat for a few days. Spin doctor Peter Schou puts his hand around young Ulrik and passes bin-loads of dirt on party president hopeful Lone Kjeldsen. But who will benefit the most if Lone’s career is jacked? Is it the ambitious Erik Dreier Jensen, her own party’s No. 2? Who else is in on the conspiracy?
The underplayed Ulrik by Anders Berthelsen, the poised spin-doctor of Lars Mikkelsen and the ruthless PM wannabe by Søren Pilmark play well against each other. The theatrics are kept out from even the climax. Yet, despite our satiated movie-watching senses, we want more of such a ‘dry’ film. What more can a director want?