Well crime drama doesn’t get much better than The Killing aka by its Danish title Fobrydelsen. I started watching it a while back with my husband and he found it slow, so I never even got to finish episode one. When I sat down with it the second time, I watched it alone and didn’t have to worry about anyone else enjoying it!
It is a slowly told story but the power of the series is in that drawn-out pacing. Each of the twenty episodes depicts 24 hrs in the investigation of the murder of a young woman named Nanna Birk Larsen.
Without excpetion, it is incredibly well cast. However, my favourite performances were from Sofie Gråbøl, Søren Malling, Lars Mikkelsen and Ann Eleonora Jørgensen. Sofie (obsessed and clever Detective Sarah Lund) and Lars (obsessed and clever politican Troels Hartman) are outstanding.
Set in Copenhagen in winter, the backdrop to the story is relentlessly grey and miserable.The city’s mood combines with the detailed, complex narrative to draw the viewer deep into Lund’s gloomy hunt. After watching each episode, I had that sensation of really having to shake off the fictional world to re-enter the real one.
I was thrilled by the brilliantly portrayed character of detective Sarah Lund who becomes so immersed in the chase that her personal life totally unravels. Her obsession makes her unpredictable and she risks everything to find the answer. There was something very realistic about the dialogue and the dynamics of the relationships (even taking into account that some of the translation was obviously a bit naf).
The Killing also brings an added dimension to TV crime by the fact that it gives weight to the lives of the victim’s family after the crime, as well as the actual investigation. This works to invest the viewer in their loss and makes the journey even more immersive. Several false leads are pursued, and each one of them feels totally credible. The story cleverly circles back on itself, and details are rehashed. A second layer of story is splashed across the top as Lund tries to tie in a previous murder, and Troels, negotiates the dirty world of politics, while trying to maintain some personal integrity and minimise the damage Nanna’s murder has had on him and his election campaign.
Engrossing, believable and grim. Lund triumphs but at what cost?
Highly Recommended (and thanks to Peri Wilson for suggesting it while we were on book tour together). I have series 2 ready to go, (which I’ve heard is even better) but I’m holding off until I can settle in and enjoy it without interruption.