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Friday, 23 August 2013

Headhunters is the Sh*t

I remember when the Norwegian film Headhunters (Hodejegerne) was playing at the cinema and everyone was raving about it. Everything Scandinavian was the rage at that time and for one specific reason I ignored Headhunters – it looked boring.

I have never seen a more boring trailer than the one for Headhunters. It looked generic and in my opinion, lifeless. Even when I read reviews about Headhunters it sounded boring (which bodes well for this one) and I damn near struggled to stay awake when people talked about the film. Well I made a pretty big mistake.

Simply put, Headhunters is a chase-thriller film in the same vein as your Terminator films. Instead of Arnie, you get the ex-military business man Clas Greve (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau of Game of Thrones fame) going after a weasel of a man and the star of the show Aksel Hennie’s Roger Brown.

The real genius of this film is Hennie – how on earth I end up feeling sorry and rooting for Brown at the end of this film I will never know. Witch-craft is the only explanation.

Roger Brown is… where do I start. Roger Brown is a corporate headhunter by trade who appears to be very well off thanks to a supposed inheritance from his grandmother (or some relative). Roger Brown is married to the ridiculously beautiful Diana (Synnøve Macody Lund), a woman who is desperate to have his babies – something Roger is against from some stupid reason. Roger Brown also moonlights as an art thief, a pretty good and sophisticated one at that – so good he has the nation’s best detective after him. Finally, and most importantly, Roger Brown is a liar and Headhunters is about all of his lies coming back to haunt him.

What I find most fascinating about this film is not the action scenes or the shit (you know what I’m talking about when you’ve seen it) but the psychological make up of Roger Brown. As a vertically challenged man myself (although, a bloody handsome one at that) with a stunning woman by my side, you can’t help but feel insecure when a chiseled SOB like Clas comes along. Headhunters, at its heart, is about Brown’s insecurities as a man – he doesn’t feel like he is man enough to have a wife like Diana so he creates a false reality for himself. When Clas comes along, it isn’t the opportunity he represents financially that most affects Roger, it’s what he represents as a man. Clas is genuinely successful , taller than Roger and good looking – It’s fascinating to watch Roger dealing with his inner demons.

Headhunters is a brilliant film – a truly great thriller. I spent a lot of my time “oohh”-ing and “ahh” –ing and “no ways”-ing throughout the film. That is a big deal for me, for too long I have felt numb to the thriller-genre in films and it takes quite a bit to impress me - Headhunters did that.

Headhunters is also the first foreign film which I would love to be adapted. For some reason I think Headhunters could translate very well to an English/American audience. I think it’s message of masculinity is an important one that should be heard. 

Oh. And I dare you to watch THAT scene without gagging.

                          Chocolate Teddy Bear