The Keeper of Lost Causes (Kvinden i Buret)
Release Year: 2013
Director: Mikkel Nørgaard
Writers: Nikolaj Arcel, Jussi Adler-Olsen (novel)
Starring: Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Fares Fares, Sonja Richter, Mikkel Boe Følsgaard, Søren Pilmark, Troels Lyby, Rasmus Botoft
Traumatized police inspector Carl Mørck (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) is put in charge of a department tasked with cataloguing and closing old cases. Soon Mørck and his assistent Assad (Fares Fares) begin taking a closer look at the case of a disappeared woman.
The Keeper of Lost Causes is the first film in a projected series of adaptations based on author Jussi Adler-Olsen’s popular Department Q police proceduals (6 books and counting). As the first of a series its most important job is to introduce its characters so that we care what happens to them and to entice us enough to want to see the next one. Luckily, the film manages to do both. The film’s greatest asset is the investigative team. Kaas (The Green Butchers, 2003) plays the quasi-alcoholic policeman, tortured by a stakeout gone terribly wrong. Upon his return of sick leave, he is parked in the basement with the order from his boss (Søren Pilmark) to close old cases quickly and sent Assad (Fares Fares) as an unwanted assistant. Swedish-Libanese actor Fares (Kops, 2003) is very good as the conscientious and more positive Assad and the two together balance each other out quite well. The case itself focuses on the disappearance of a politician (Sonja Richter) some years earlier which was written off at the time as a suicide. Fighting against their superior to even get to investigate the case (and, as it turns out, against time) the case is interesting and is quite likely to keep the interest of a mystery fan throughout. All in all, the film can naturally not compete with the production quality of a film from a larger production company, but there is enough here to make this highly recommendable to fans of Nordic noir. A great thriller for fans of police proceduals.
Director Mikkel Nørgaard has mostly directed television but the four feature films ha has directed have all been major hits in his home country. They are the movie Klown (2010) based on a sit-com and its sequel, and The Keeper of Lost Causes and its sequel.
Picture Copyright: Nordisk Film