For anyone crazy enough not to be watching this, ‘The Killing ‘ is an award winning Danish crime thriller is set over the course of a 20-day murder investigation. Executed in a similar style to ‘24’, each episode represents a day of the investigation. At first glance, 20 episodes seems overly long for this type of show, however in this case, it’s not long enough! The creators use this time to develop characters in exquisite detail and throw in plot and subplot twists galore. Over the course of the last 14 episodes, pretty much every character has appeared suspect and we are no closer to determining who did it!
The victim is a 19 year old girl, Nana Birk Larsan, who appears to have been having an affair with an older man, who ultimately murdered her. An impending Mayoral election forms an interesting subplot, with links between the Mayors' office and Nana’s murder connecting the two stories.
The plot may sound familiar, but what separates this thriller from the rest, so to speak, is twofold:
|Pernille and Theis, parents of the murdered girl|
Firstly, it’s focus on interpersonal relationships. The portrayal of the impact of the murder on Nana’s extended family is given as much airtime as the murder investigation, without losing the viewers attention. The breakdown of the parents', Pernille and Theis, relationship being the focus over the last few episodes and coming to a head last night. The impact of Sarah Lund’s, (the lead detective), dedication to her job on her personal relationships: notably her, now ex, boyfriend and her sulky teenage son. It also subtlety explores the impact of the death of a spouse on the Mayoral candidate, Troels Hartmann (the gorgeous Lars Mikkelsen), who’s political campaign is constantly being scuppered by, as yet, unknown forces and is current prime suspect.
|Sarah Lund and Troels Hartmann|
Secondly, the superb, understated acting and inspired casting. Sarah Lund is played to perfection by Sofie Gråbøl, ever so slightly unglamorous, clearly intelligent and still sympathetic. The guilt she feels at her unwitting ‘neglect’ of her teenage son is palpable, despite her never discussing it with her family or colleagues. Other stand out’s for me are Pernille (Ann Eleonora Jørgensen) and Theis (Bjarne Henriksen), the deterioration in both of their emotional states, being revealed slowly and subtlety has been a joy to watch.
Sarah’s jumper deserves a mention, having developed a cult following all of it’s own! The unattractive cream and black number, shown in the picture above, featuring prominently throughout the series.
I have enjoyed this programme so much that I ordered the DVD and have struggled not to watch ahead, so that I can discuss it as it happens with fellow devotees. With only 6 episodes left, I was beginning to panic about what I would do of a Saturday night when it was all over. Thankfully, it seems that the BBC has confirmed that it has bought series 2 to show later this year. If you are not watching, I can’t urge you strongly enough to get on to BBC iPlayer to catch up. You won’t regret it!