Nils snow ploughs the wild winter mountains of Norway, and is recently awarded Citizen of the Year. When his son is murdered for something he did not do, Nils wants revenge. And justice. His actions ignite a war between the vegan gangster the Count and the Serbian mafia boss Papa.
‘In Order of Disappearance’ is a Scandinavian black comedy that follows Nils (Stellan Skarsgard), a snowplough driver who hunts down members of the local drug gang who are responsible for his son’s death. After catching the men responsible, Nils then sets off to track down the leader of the gang, and along the way unintentionally draws a rival crime gang into the situation. The film begins quite darkly but gradually starts to throw in more humour as the story goes on, and the successful contrast between humour and brutal violence is reminiscent of Tarantino or the Coen’s at their finest.
The cast is primarily made up of local actors, with Skarsgard and the excellent Bruno Ganz (aka Hitler in ‘Downfall’) the best known outwith Scandinavia, and the performances are pretty good throughout. Skarsgard is excellent in keeping the film grounded, acting out his revenge whilst the situation around him becomes more and more absurd, whilst the most enjoyable performance from the rest of the cast comes from ‘Pal Sverre Hagen’ as ‘Greven’, the crime boss trying to prevent his crew from being picked off. Hagen’s performance is delightfully over the top and slightly cartoonish, and it works extremely well as he toes the line between comical and ridiculous – he’s an actor I’ll be looking out for in future.
The plot itself is relatively straightforward, but the standard revenge tale takes on a nice twist when the series of events and coincidences bring Bruno Ganz’s Albanian drug rivals into play, and the way this works itself out is great fun and provides a lot of the humour. The director also makes great use of the sparse Norwegian setting amidst deep snow to build an atmosphere and mood that reminds me of ‘Fargo’ to a certain extent. Overall, this film is a lot of fun, with good performances, a twisty plot and some brilliant dark humour throughout – recommended.
Directed By: Hans Petter Moland
Starring: Stellan Skarsgard, Bruno Ganz, Pal Sverre Hagen, Kristofer Hivju, Birgitte Hjort Sorensen, Jakob Oftebro and Tobias Santelmann