Northwest

"Very Good"

Northwest Review


This Danish dramatic thriller may not be hugely original, but its story about teens caught in a spiral of drugs and crime is strikingly well told with a strong spark of authenticity. Filmmaker Michael Noer injects the film with an edgy youthful energy that draws out the deeper implications of the events, especially as these young men are led into increasingly dangerous situations simply because they crave all that posturing bravado.

The focus is on Casper (Gustav Dyekjaer Giese), an 18-year-old living in working-class northwest Copenhagen with his single mum (Lene Maria Christensen), his 17-year-old brother Andy (Gustav's real brother Oscar) and their little sister Freya (Annemieke Bredahl Peppink). Looking for ways to contribute to paying the bills, Casper breaks into houses with his pal Robin (Nicholas Westwood Kidd), selling the goods for whatever he can get from local thug Jamal (Dulfi Al-Jabouri). Then after doing a one-off burglary, a much bigger gangster Bjorn (Roland Moller) offers him a better job driving prostitutes to work and selling drugs on the side. Suddenly Casper is living the high life, bringing Robin in for jobs as well. And when Robin's not available, Andy helps out too. But all of this makes Jamal furious, and a war is brewing.

The film is carefully constructed to juxtapose the two sides of Casper's life, family and criminality, which he thinks he can keep separate. His general ignorance is almost as annoying as his relentless macho swagger, blithely courting real danger as if he's indestructible. Which is of course the film's key point. These young guys have no idea what they're playing with, systematically destroying any chance they have at a positive future while thinking they've never had it so good. But it's clear that they don't have many other options. And the older people around them utterly misread their behaviour.

Noer tells this story with sharply realistic direction, drawing performances from the fresh cast that are sometimes startlingly honest. The best scenes are the lighter improvised moments in which the characters let down their guard and the actors allow their personalities to show behind the tough-guy facade. On the other hand, the gang-war plot feels more than a little pushy, as the story's gears clank loudly to generate suspense that builds to a series of escalating clashes. Some of these scenes burst with authentic emotions and gritty violence that's genuinely unnerving. So even if it all feels rather familiar, it's depicted in a way that brings the message home with a strong kick.



Northwest

Facts and Figures

Genre: Foreign

Run time: 91 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 18th April 2013

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Fresh: 9 Rotten: 1

IMDB: 6.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Michael Noer

Producer: Rene Ezra, Tomas Radoor

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

At just 27 years old, Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has an almost overwhelming set of...

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

Advertisement
The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.