THE KEEPER OF LOST CAUSES | MOVIE REVIEW

Kernel Andrew hits up THE KEEPER OF LOST CAUSES (aka KVINDEN I BURET), a Danish crime thriller, that to me just looks spectacular, I will definitely be seeing this one, European, cop drama thriller, it is something us older people now thrive on. Am watching LINE OF DUTY at the moment and obsessing over this, BROADCHURCH and so on. THE KEEPER OF LOST CAUSES is being released on July 31st into quite a few cinemas from MADMAN FILMS – you can find the full list of cinemas HERE. It is rated MA15+ and runs for 97mins. You can also check out the film’s website HERE. Enjoy Andrew’s review…..all the best…..JK.

 

THE KEEPER OF LOST CAUSES MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
THE KEEPER OF LOST CAUSES | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE POSTER

 

REVIEW BY ANDREW BRUSENTSEV

Not sure what it is about the Danes. Is it something in the climate, culture or lifestyle that has seen them become “The Keepers of Twisted Detective Dramas” (pun intended)?

This movie is no exception, Mikkel Norgaard (who directs), adapts the international bestselling first instalment of the Department Q series, THE KEEPER OF LOST CAUSES. To witness movies like this, TV shows like THE KILLING, UNIT ONE or the excellent GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO/ MILLENIUM book series one would think that life in lower Scandinavia is full of murder and weird individuals.

 

THE KEEPER OF LOST CAUSES IMAGE
THE KEEPER OF LOST CAUSES | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | CARL MØRCK (NIKOLAJ LIE KAAS)

 

I deliberately made the comparison with TV from the first moments of this movie, I felt like I was watching a late night instalment of one of the aforementioned TV shows. It is interesting to see that TV2 Denmark was heavily involved. Was this a conscious or money based decision to stylise it so heavily in the TV milieu? From the moment when I meet our protagonists I got the feeling that I was watching a pilot in a series instalment for the new UNIT ONE. Is this a pitfall of the movie? Perhaps it does begin to become very familiar very quickly.

Nikolaj Arcel (responsible for the brilliant A ROYAL AFFAIR which he wrote and directed) takes the reigns of adapting the Jussi Adler novel to the big screen. He does a great work setting this up as perhaps the start of a movie series.

 

THE KEEPER OF LOST CAUSES MOVIE IMAGE
THE KEEPER OF LOST CAUSES | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MERETE LYNGGAARD (SONJA RICHTER)

 

Nikolaj Lie Kaas plays tough talented detective Monck who is unliked by the rest of his unit. This is further exacerbated by a shootout in the opening scenes that leaves one of his partners dead and the other one, his best friend, paralysed. Coming back from leave early, brought about by this incident (rather than taking the retirement that everyone hoped for) he finds himself forced into Department Q. This is a newly created division which is designed to quickly process and close cold cases. Everyone hopes that Monck will live out his days till retirement in the station’s basement with his new assistant Assad (Fares Fares) shuffling papers till retirement. But Monck is no desk cop and starts investigating the first case he is handed. Assad proves equally capable at detective work and also with putting up with Monck’s prickly personality.

The first case involves a young talented politician, Merete Lynggaard (Sonja Richter), who disappeared whilst on a ferry. The only witness, her brain-damaged brother, Uffe (Mikkel Boe Folsgaard who starred in A ROYAL AFFAIR). Merete’s body was never found and her brother has subsequently retreated further into himself. The case was quickly ruled a suicide by Monck’s colleagues and quickly filed away. Monck begins to immediately see anomalies with witness testimonies. Despite repeated warnings from his command (Soren Pilmark), he begins to devote time and resources to uncovering the truth. Monck and Assad reach the conclusions that she has been murdered or is possibly still alive. Either way they both are determined to get to the bottom of it.

 

THE KEEPER OF LOST CAUSES MOVIE IMAGE
THE KEEPER OF LOST CAUSES | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | POST ACCIDENT

 

In all honesty this is a solid TV pilot but a movie it isn’t. The cast is capable enough and the drama and script is solid. Norgaard wants us to keep guessing but it is quickly apparent what will happen in the end. There is genuine suspense and a trademark Danish weirdness that adds a beautiful level of mystery to the whole thing. But I stress again you have seen this before especially if you are a fan of Danish TV shows. Supporting characters that are not destined for a continuance in the book series are given short shrift but Monck and Assad’s relationship is explored in quite a bit of detail. I wish Fares Fare’s as Assad was given more time, he was a well-drawn character and a foil to Monck’s prickliness.

Eric Kress (Director of Photography), the man that has really given us a visual to the Danish crime thriller, made most famous in movies by the original GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO uses his trademark craftsmanship.

If this was a TV series I would be watching it regularly but as a movie I felt a little let down.

 

3 Pops