Headhunters (aka Hodejegerne) review by Alyse Garner - Cinema Paradiso
Based on a novel Headhunters is a European thriller about art theft and curiously deep and manipulative characters; the film opens with the main character, Roger Brown (Aksel Hennie) telling us the story of how he found himself in his current predicament, this is a well known narrative ploy many of us are used to and we find ourselves immediately believing everything he says, whilst at the same time knowing his words are loaded with a second meaning, a personal creativeness if you will.
So, on the surface Roger (Norway’s most successful professional head hunter) seems like a fairly average man, hard working and a little vulnerable, who through sheer luck and hard graft has landed himself a great job, a nice house and a beautiful wife. We learn fairly quickly however that Roger has been making a little extra money on the side of his headhunting business; as an art thief. And so, when he is introduced to Clas Greve (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) the owner of the most sought after art pieces in the modern world, he sees his chance to become financially independent.
What follows begins as somewhat of a caper movie, a classy one with just the right amount of humour to be sure, until the twists and betrayals begin to creep in, turning Headhunters into a tense thriller.
The performances in Headhunters are brilliant, right down to even the tiniest bit parts and the story is hugely impressive. Director Morten Tyldum takes a lot of the novel’s greatest ideas to work with and like a painter, makes something fantastic with the most simple and raw material at hand. Though it may not be a masterpiece, Headhunters is certainly worth exhibiting in the gallery of your front room.