IN ORDER OF DISAPPEARANCE
»Get up in the morning, death, death, death, death, death, lunch, death, death, death, afternoon tea, death, death, death, quick shower.« No, this is not an Eddie Izzard comedy show, though it’s just as funny. What we have here is a deadly great film that comes from a very successful production line of »Scandinavian Crime Fiction Factory«.
In Order of Disappearance (Kraftidioten, Hans Petter Molland, 2014) blends its many deaths in a mixture of crime thriller and black comedy. The unusual murder spree takes place in a godforsaken place at the end of the world, called Beitostølen. The city is covered in large amounts of snow most of the year, so having a snow-plough kinda makes you cool and important. And the coolest man around is »almost completely integrated Swedish immigrant« Nils Dickman.
Nils just became Citizen of the Year, but unfortunately he failed as a father of the year. On the day he received his honorary prize, the police found his son dead. Investigation concluded: heroin overdose. Mr. Dickman is not quite satisfied with that explanation, so he decides to take justice into his own hands.
During his vendetta, one that neither Tarantino or the Cohen brothers would be ashamed of, Nils comes by some very dangerous characters. Unknowingly he also sets up a chain reaction and finds himself in the crossfire between posh-core vegan and carrot-juice-loving Norway mobsters and good old Serbian gangsters. The unfortunate combination of coincidences and people who do not believe in them is resolved in a final shootout.
At first glance, In Order of Disappearance does not come across as an exactly great film. The story is okay, as is the action. But what is really great is how Molland takes the genre form that we are all familiar with and doesn’t waste our time telling us all the unnecessary information. Film also operates on the so-called »double story«. We have the traditional plot, but there is also an extra layer of story, which tells us something about Scandinavian society. Through humor and self-irony film highlights some very important issues about democracy, homophobia, ethics and morale.
The most important thing though lies in details. Carefully thought and delivered deadpan humor, spot on and self-ironic critique of Scandinavian society, clear lines and minimalistic mis-en-scène turn Molland’s film into a small genre masterpiece. So In Order of Disappearance becomes another great film that marks the rise of Scandinavian cinema.
Extreme popularity of »Nordic Noir« – dark, moody, evil stories, full of misery and death – is quite a new phenomenon that can be linked to the global success of Stieg Larrson’s Millenum Trilogy and Danish TV series. And we can already easily say that Scandinavian crime fiction is the most influential export after IKEA and ABBA. So: move over, George R. R. Martin: the Vikings are coming.