Jo Nesbo is a literary sensation to the extent that his name is attached to films, like Jackpot, for which he only contributed a rough outline. It’s designed to give a feel of the tone of the piece, as well as a marketing device for his many fans, which err towards the dark comedy end of the Nordic Noir spectrum. After I was slightly disappointed by this summer’s Headhunters, it was refreshing to see a more tonally even and tightly plotted film that was, above anything else, willing to have a lot of fun.
Jackpot follows the fortunes of four employees, three ex-cons, who work at a factory that produces artificial Christmas trees, after they with 1.7 million kroner in a football pools bet. The narrative unfolds in a non-linear way, framed by the central character’s interrogation by a fastidious, old school police officer. It’s all neatly done, revealing only as much as we need to know in order to understand the scene but progressing at a rapid rate. Things get increasingly gruesome as events spiral further and further out of the control of our central character.
The plot contrivances will leave some people colder than the Norwegian winter so, to some extent, the film relies upon its audience being willing to give themselves up to a piece of boisterous, enthusiastic filmmaking that is, perhaps, best described as the Norwegian Pulp Fiction. The elevating factor of the film is its confidently morbid sense of humour, exceptionally dark but often laugh out loud funny. You just need to be prepared to laugh through things that might, otherwise, make you slightly queasy. Severed finger tips in the Wotsits spring to mind in a way that you’ll only understand after seeing this movie.
Jackpot is a fun and respectably twisty film that doesn’t take itself as seriously as some of its Scandinavian counterparts. Twistedly enjoyable.
|Title:||Jackpot (Arme Riddere)|
|Starring:||Kyrre Hellum, Henrik Mestad, Marie Blokhus|
|Running Time:||About an hour and a half|