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London Film Festival 2013: Northwest (Nordvest) Review

By on 22/11/2013

Many crime stories tell a similar story of the characters rise (and in many times fall) of power. Some are told to such epic proportions that the story becomes far removed from everyday life. Occasionally a movie comes along with that same entertainment value of this epic crime stories but tells a very simple and grounded story that does not go on flights of fancy through the criminal ranks but stays within the realms of the believable making you identify with the characters even more. Northwest is one of those movies


Northwest (Nordvest) Synopsis

This Danish drama tells the story of Caspar (Gustav Dyekjær Giese) a small time thief.  He aims to step up and become a bigger criminal with the aims of providing for his family. He forms a relationship with Bjorn (Roland Møller) a pimp who is starts working. This causes a major conflict with Jamal a criminal he used to steal for sending his world out of control.

This simple yet effective drama is set in backdrop of the Northwest estate in Copenhagen. The estate itself plays a huge part in the drama. Filmed in documentary style Northwest draws you in along with some extremely impressive acting from the cast members. At many points you forget you’re watching a movie as you’re drawn into Casper’s world. The follow from behind camera technique is used to great effect in this film – in many other films its overused and done wrong. Roland Møller is also very impressive as Bjorn who effortly switches between father figure to Casper and his brother to scary gangster. As well as Theis (Clement Black Petersen) Bjorn’s right hand who steals every scene that he is in




The screening

Director Michael Noer was at the venue and gave an insight into life on the estate including its multi diversity, which is why he chose to film there, and how many of the cast including Casper and his brother (who are real life brothers) were first time actors who had received no formal acting training.


He also spoke about how he wanted to make an entertainment, ass in the seats popcorn movie.


In conlusion

Northwest is a popcorn movie and much much more. It has the trills of a popcorn movie, yet at the same time grounded in reality and grittiness. The film doesn’t bring anything new to the genre but is so effective in its delivery and story that its super fresh. I recommend it.