Headhunters is an exciting film from Norway, already in the process of a Hollywood remake.
"Hodejegerne" (try saying that backwards) is based on the homonymous novel of football player, musician Credit: filmfront.noand writer -in that order- Jo Nesbø. It starts pretty slow and at first I found it a bit hard to be accustomed with its pace. The language also did not help. I am a native Greek speaker, the dialogs are in Norwegian and I only had English subs. After I felt comfortable viewing it I was treated to a production of the highest standards, a very solid direction by Morten Tyldum, exceptional performances by all cast, and most importantly one of the best written scripts I have ever enjoyed in a motion picture. No obvious plot-holes, unreasonable implausibilities due to weak penning, unnecessary time travelling that leads to a totally meaningless plot and lame "It's just a movie!" replies to criticisms.
There are plenty of ways to interpret Headhunters. From "there is no need for any kind of interpretation, no metaphors or allegories were meant" to the suggestion that this a modern take on "David vs Goliath", the weak versus the powerful. Here you will not find needless manicheistic nonsense about "good vs evil". No-one's part is clear, there is no moral or didactic message, the views we form about some characters alter along the way... and later on they re-alter. Initially you are led to hate or feel sorrow for some characters and afterwards you come up loving them. And vice versa. The bulk of the film is based on the chemistry between the two leads, Roger Brown (Aksel Hennie is just fantastic) and Clas Greve (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Game of Throne's Jamie -Kingslayer- Lanister, who to my great surprise I found out he is a Dane!).
The multi-level game that gradually unfolds between them is worth every Norge Krone : suspense, curiosity, interest, questions, twists, revelation... awe. Brown's internal monologues are of some interest, just like his undefined relationship with his beautiful wife. Yet the real protagonist of this film is action! This is not a boring european culture film. Apart from the slow intro the film does not allow you to rest at all. No plot fatigue near the middle of the film and no boredom moments, I was sitting at the edge of the edge of my seat the entire time. Everything leads to a climax you have no idea how it will develop, since essentially nothing betrays who is the real protagonist of the film, "the one who will get the girl".
Headhunters is the most successful Norwegian film of all time, having been released in 50+ countries, along with an American remake on the works by Summit Entertainment.
Watch the official trailer to whet your cinematic appetite. The trailer promises a lot. The film delivers much more. Rating (without a trace of exaggeration) : 9/10