Review: Varg Veum: The dead are right – Varg Veum – De døde har det godt (2012)


Directed by: Erik Richter Strand | 90 minutes | crime | Actors: Trond Espen Seim, Lene Nystrøm, Bjørn Floberg, Fumi Desalu-Vold, Jørgen Langhelle, Bintu Sakor, Freddy Steimler, Madeleine Barwén Trollvik

Thanks to the Varg Veum phenomenon, the Norwegian coastal town of Bergen is on the map. Not only because of the phenomenal view, but also because of the many fictional crimes that take place there. In the dark world of private investigator Varg Veum, quite a bit happens in the seemingly peaceful city. Also in the film “De døde har det godt” – or “The dead are well off” it is again a hit in good old “Bergen.

Veum is called to investigate a murder case. The body of a 17-year-old girl was found in the port of Bergen. Elsewhere in the city, the headquarters of a social welfare organization has been broken into. Veum and his girlfriend Karin suspected that there is a connection between the murder and the burglary. Before the duo realizes it, it finds itself in a wasp’s nest.

The films around the charismatic Veum revolve around character exploration. Each time you discover more about the personality and attitude to life of the main character. Norwegian actor Trond Espen Seim is perfectly cast and portrays the boyish, slightly cynical anti-hero in a respectful way. Seim gets good counterplay from Lene Nystrøm who portrays Karin as a stubborn and spunky lady. The interplay of the two is very pleasant to watch. This is not a Hollywood couple, but a normal couple with empathy problems. The cast’s strong play is reason enough to check out this crime thriller. Fans of the series should not miss this episode anyway, because the tension build-up is very strong.

It is great that after countless films and books the character still shows no signs of wear and tear. By repeatedly revealing more about Veum’s past, you keep looking fascinated. Private detective Varg Veum sprang from the brain of the Norwegian writer Gunnar Staalesen. His first adventure appeared in 1977. In 2007 the character of the novel was brought to the silver screen. Smart, because the interest in Scandinavian thrillers has risen sharply in recent years. Thanks to series like “The Killing” and of course “Millennium”. The popularity of Veum is steadily increasing and the books have already been translated into Dutch, English, Swedish, Danish and German.

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