Review: Northwest (Nordvest)

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Director: Michael Noer
Cert: Club
Genre: Crime
Starring: Gustav Dyekjær Giese
Running Time: 1 hr 31 mins

Life is not easy for teenage burglar Caspar (Gustav Dyekjær Giese). A low-ranking criminal growing up in the Danish sink estate of the title, most of what he takes reverts back to a gang of immigrant criminals, all of whom are apt to pick on Caspar’s beloved younger brother, Andy (Oscar Dyekjær Giese).

It doesn’t take much for local kingpin Bjorn (Roland Moeller) to persuade Caspar to move up to the big leagues, as a gofer and bodyguard to Bjorn’s prostitutes. For a time, this low-rent syndicate, including Bjorn’s hilariously gruff sidekick (Clement Blach Petersen), mean drugs, protection and income for their new charge. But will his surrogate family stand by him when things go wrong? And what has 17-year-old Andy learned from under his brother’s wing?

In director Michael Noer's level-headed, unsentimental crime drama, violence invariably takes place off screen. Magnus Nordenhof Joenck's steely cinematography confirms Northwe st as a socially responsible project, cleverly working within and against genre expectation. The performances by non-professional, real-life brothers Gustav and Oscar Dyekjær Giese are superb.

Tara Brady

Tara Brady

Tara Brady, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a writer and film critic