Opening 20 Nov 2014
By profession Nils (Stellan Skarsgård) drives a huge snow plow – quite necessary in Norway which is snowed under many months of the year. He keeps the roads free so that people can go about their daily lives. For this exacting and necessarily hard work, he receives an award of “Citizen of the Year.” On the one hand, he is an esteemed member of society. On the other, there is a black hole caused by the death of his son from a heroin overdose. He blames the drug dealers. From this point, the film is dedicated to his detailed, carefully planned revenge – first searching for and identifying the criminals, work that leads him to members of the Norwegian, Swedish, and Serbian mafia – and then putting them out of commission, one by one. Basically shy, he does this on the sly, undercover, and the underworld begins to worry about this unknown threat. In carrying out this methodical revenge, he sees each hindrance as just another snow bank to be overcome.
This is billed as a black comedy, but I found little to laugh about. However, the acting is fine and the story steps along. But, actually, the very best part of the movie is the shots of snow-covered Norwegian fields and lakes, and the dedicated snowplow making its rounds in solitude. This played in competition at the 2014 Berlinale. (Becky Tan)