Monday, April 25, 2011

What I've been watching the past week

The reverse casting of Frankenstein(Johnny Lee Miller as the Creature:

If a movie of the National Theatre's "Frankenstein" ever comes out, I'd want Benedict Cumberbatch to play both roles. I loved him as the more analytical Creature as opposed to Miller's more childlike interpretation but playing in portraying Victor, Cumberbatch gave a more nuanced reading of the scientist-alternating between arrogance and amazement with just a touch of fear. Sadly my issues with the supporting cast were still apparent. I haven't been to England or a London play in a few years and this production showed me what I've been missing.

Forbrydelsen(The Killing):

Not the AMC version but the BBC4 DVD of the Danish crime drama about the killing of a young women and the aftermath. Having seen the first few episodes online at AMC and reading the Guardian's raves about the show*, I bought the boxset of the original(with subtitles) and proceeded to watch both simultaneously...for a week. I found myself increasing intrigued with the dark Scandinavian gloom and the murder of Nanna Birk Larsen much more than the remake. I didn't think I could watch a 20 episode show with subtitles and not get bored but the twisting storyline, 3 dimensional characters and a female detective who rocks a ponytail and wool sweater/jumper hooked me. Sophie Grabol plays Sarah Lund as a thoughtful, quiet, workaholic who refreshingly makes mistakes in the case. Her acting is such that she is Sarah Lund, something that the American actress can't quite manage. The other cast is uniformly good with special mention going to the wonderfully named Troels Hartmann, politician.

The only thing I liked better in the US version is that we find out a little bit more about the victim Rose like hearing her voice and seeing her videos. Nanna is never quite a character but her death is felt in every scene. I also think the two American boys playing her brothers did a wonderful job in portraying sibling grief. The little Danish boys grief seemed to consist of staring down at the ground.

However, Forbrydelsen should come with a warning mentioning after watching it, the viewer will want to travel around Copenhagen, speak in Danish and wear $350 white wool sweaters with snowflakes.

The sweater: