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Review: Varg Veum: The black sheep – Varg Veum – Black sheep (2011)

Directed by: | 90 minutes | | Actors: , Lene Nystrøm, Bjørn Floberg, , , , , , , , , , Veronika Flotve Røssland, Sarah Svege

The character Varg Veum was created by the Norwegian writer Gunnar Staalesen. The first book about this antihero was published in 1977. The first about the character appeared exactly thirty years later. The popularity of Veum is steadily increasing and the books have already been translated into Dutch, English, Swedish, Danish and German.

Veum is a gruff private detective living in Bergen, Norway. He is a typical loner who prefers to work alone and does not think much of the police. Still, he is sometimes forced to interact with the boys in blue. In the film “Varg Veum: The Black Sheep”, the squalid private detective ventures into the underworld. His new girlfriend Karin has a dark family secret. Veum’s flame has a heroin-addicted sister who is involved in prostitution. When the new-born couple tries to keep her out of her pimp’s clutches, all hell breaks out. The pimp is not happy that his source of income is simply taken from him.

The strength of this series is the title character and his view of the world. Veum is a cynical guy with a healthy dose of humor. His transverse attitude also sets him apart. Norwegian actor Trond Espen Seim portrays this role with apparent pleasure. Unlike his (fictional) German and Dutch colleagues, Veum is not infallible. Baantjer and Derrick are half a saint compared to this gruff Norwegian. It is precisely that raw edge that makes Veum such an appealing character. The fact that our antihero is not a fighting machine also makes the films and book series interesting. Veum is a real person. Point.

“Varg Veum: The Black Sheep” is a dark that occasionally drags a bit – not every scene is equally interesting and that is at the expense of the tension – but which is nevertheless quite exciting at times. The acting is very strong, the soundtrack convincing and the location (Bergen, Norway) atmospheric. In terms of action, you should not be too much of this series. There is some violence in it, but it is really mainly about the interaction between the characters. Recommended for anyone who likes dark detective series that take place in the depths of society.

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