Norwegian Headhunters Movie Recommendation, because you don’t have enough Norwegian in your life right now America. OK, so I didn’t start this vaunted review of well, like at all. But you know what? This isn’t going to be a think piece. I won’t be talking about the atrocities of the holocaust, and the ethical moralities involved with revenge. And I won’t be convincing you as to the meaning of the universe. This movie recommendation is just popcorn trash. It’s violent, it’s clever…and it’s all over the place. But that is why I love it. Headhunters says to the viewing audience – I AM THIS THING. And then half way through, you start to get the idea that you have been violently and totally, lied to. And the opening lie is so good, I’m still wondering what exactly happened at the ending there. So yeah…if being lied to by your entertainment sounds like a fun ride, head over here (free), or here (.99¢), or here ($2.99) and check it out before you carry on any further.
But yeah, if, like Trump, you have an aversion to reading subtitles (first I’d like you to just leave my site) this film will not be for you. Because, like I said at the outset, this film is a Norwegian film. And believe it or not, they do not speak English in Norway (well, actually, most everyone I’ve met from Norway speak English better than I do. As well as German, and French and Spanish. But I’m really digressing now.) so you are most likely going to need to turn on the English subtitles. Unless, that is, you speak Norwegian. And then, just good on ya.
Quick Headhunters Walkthrough
This film had more triple gainers going for it than any movie I’ve seen in a while. But what actually happened – “BECAUSE I AM CONFUSED!” OK, let’s break this movie down.
Roger Brown (Aksel Hennie) happens to be one of Norway’s most brilliant talent scouts (aka Headhunter). And he’s paid very handsomely for his ability to find just the right candidate for just the right position. Only problem is that he lives well beyond his means as he tries to keep his tall “trophy wife” happy. To make up the difference, Roger steals paintings and fences them on the weekends. In order to make these painting transactions happen, he has partnered Ove, an individual who happens to work at a surveillance company. And it is through Ove that Roger is able to gain entrance to the various houses he needs to get into in order to snag the valuable paintings. Among all of Roger’s shortcomings, his art fencing isn’t the least of his failings, he also has a mistress on the side as well. But when he meets up with Lotte (Julie Ølgaard) he ends the relationship. Now, when Roger joins his wife Diana (Synnøve Macody Lund) for a show at her gallery, she introduces him to Clas Greve (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). Clas is a an ex-executive at HOTE, which is a high tech GPS company. Clas wants to join Pathfinder, a company that Roger is placing an executive for.
One of the things that makes this movie a little complicated to start with is the fact that it kicks off completely in full swing. Roger is up to his ears in debt. He has a wife that seems to be extremely high maintenance. And Roger is also enmeshed in an extracurricular affair with another woman. The walls seem to be closing in on this poor chap, but we shouldn’t pity him too much – he’s apparently made some fairly poor life choices. There’s hope though!! When Diana mentions that Clas happens to have a Rubens painting that is worth multiple millions of dollars, Roger sees a way to get out of this debt-mess he finds himself in.
When Roger steals the Rubens, Roger happens to call Diana, which rings next to Clas’ bed. And now, our dear – totally over his head – Roger, is completely drowning. Why? Well, his wife is having an affair with this man obviously! Gah. Roger is completely screwed whether he knows it or not. So Roger takes retribution with Clas by informing him that he won’t be getting the position with Pathfinder – and this in spite of a fantastic interview.
And then the real roller coaster starts. The next morning, Roger discovers his surveillance friend Ove, dead in his car, downstairs in the garage. Wait, what? You see, Roger had asked Ove to come get the painting from his car in the night, and when he did he knelt on a poison needle of some sort. Knowing he can’t go to the police with Roger’s death, mainly because of the whole painting thieving business. No? (Obviously there are a million places in which Roger could have given the game up, but he always chooses to double down on his horrible pair of twos. Always onward!) But when Roger dumps Ove in a nearby lake, Ove wakes up. Wait, WAKES UP? I thought he was dead. Well, apparently he knelt on the poison, and didn’t get a full dose. Which meant, it saved both Roger’s life, as well as Ove’s. Now, Ove is a gun nut (which is interesting to me, is that even a thing in Norway? How hard is it to get a gun in Norway? I don’t even know. Maybe you, Mr. Reader will inform us about the gun laws of Norway in the comments? I’ll be forever in your debt.) and has guns throughout his apartment. Roger and Ove have an accidental gun battle, resulting in Ove’s now non-near-miss death. But Roger doesn’t have time to deal with Ove because Clas has tracked him to Ove’s house. Remember, Clas came from a GPS tracking company, Roger ditches his clothes in the lake, and swaps cars and clothes with Ove’s.
This part gets a little messy in my memory (and my notes here are literally 100% useless.) but Clas follows Roger out to a cabin/farm in the wood that he rents. It’s a place that Ove used to use regularly. When Clas arrives he murders the farmer. Roger survives a dog attack, then runs for it on the farmer’s tractor. Well, when a few good Samaritans save Roger, he wakes in the hospital later. But the hospital think that he is Ove. Which, is fairly reasonable seeing as though Roger took Ove’s clothes and car, etc. Arrested as Ove, the police take him in a car heading toward the station. Well, Roger realizes that Clas is tracking him through a gel that he believes his wife, Diana, has put in his hair. Roger realizes that a semi that is coming right for them is actually being driven by Clas as he tries to kill Roger for some unknown reason.
OK, let’s stop for a moment and think about this for a second. As the movie opened I thought this was going to be an Oceans Eleven equivalent. A movie about art heists and con jobs. But quickly, the art heist premise ended, and now it’s some sort of revenge film of some sort. Clas is doing absolutely anything and everything to murder Roger. But why??! For stealing his Rubens? Really? He seems like a man possessed. It doesn’t even make any sense at all. And that is why this movie is so good. It changed somewhere, but it didn’t notify the audience of the change. It just happened. And Roger is the last one on the notification list. He’s more confused than anyone.
When Clas rams the police car, he killed everyone in the car save for Roger. Why? Well, he was wedged into the backseat between two enormous policemen. It actually makes perfect sense. Well, Roger plays dead until Clas has left the scene, convinced that Roger is dead.Which is when Roger shaves off his hair, and hides it on one of the bodies. Roger then swaps his clothes with one of the detectives. This convinces the police that Roger died in the crash, and that there is a detective missing. Make sense? It was a pretty clever swap. It actually successfully concealed his survival from the crash.
Needing the help of a friendly face, Roger heads to Lotte’s house – Lotte being his recent mistress – he learns that Lotte has always been working for Clas. And it was Lotte who put the tracking gel in his hair. Better yet, it was Clas’ affair with Diana that allowed him to pitch Roger on stealing the Rubens. Which tells us that Clas used Diana, and only slept with her in order to pull her into his web. Anyway, Roger ends up killing Lotte in self defense after she attacks him with a knife. And at this point, Roger is going to need a counselor for the rest of his life due to the PTSD diagnosis he is about to receive.
It is now, having come to the end of his rope, that Roger heads home and tells Diana everything. She apologizes for her affair with Clas. And that is when Roger goes on the offensive finally. He heads back to the morgue, and retrieves his hair – and thus the GPS tracking devices. He then takes them with him as he heads back to Ove’s cabin. If this made no sense to you, he was drawing Clas to follow him. He basically yelled, “FOLLOW ME THIS WAY CLAS!!!” especially seeing as though dead bodies don’t usually get up from the morgue and go for a jaunt.
Well, Roger’s number one directive is to clean up all the evidence of Ove’s death. And while there, Clas arrives, and giggles that Diana has come back to him, in effect, rubbing it in Roger’s face. Which, would be sad, if we didn’t already understand what Roger was doing. Then, when Clas attempts to shoot Roger nothing happens. Roger then shoots Clas with Ove’s gun. Which is when we learn that Diana returned to Clas solely to replace the bullets in Clas’ gun with blanks. Cut to the security company, where the employees are watching as Clas is engaged in a shootout with someone out of the line of sight with the camera. Which, becomes important when combined with the fact that Roger has left evidence that he has doctored. Doctored why?!?! Did that make sense to you? I had to rewind the film to realize exactly what Roger was up to. Well, the evidence suggests that Ove and Clas were in league together as an art thief ring.
The brilliance of this film is to admit that the whole plot doesn’t add up. How? They basically admitted that obviously the cops would see the inconsistencies in the trumped up evidence and many of the details that just don’t fit together. But, seeing as though the lead investigator is driven by his reputation, they smoothed over the details that don’t exactly iron out. It’s like as if the screenplay authors (Ulf Ryberg & Lars Gudmestad) were winking at the audience. Yes, I hear them saying, we know there is no way in God’s glorious green earth that all these details of this crazy plot can add up to any reasonable investigation. But we are going to hit this thing with a belt sander and call it good.
Here comes the bow to tie the entire movie up in a feel good ending absolutely no one thought was physically possible. Jump to Roger and Diana who are selling their house. Oh, and the baby bump that Diana is sporting.
The Ending of Headhunters Explained
The first thing you have to realize is that the entire screenplay of Headhunters was a setup. We assumed that Roger was the bad guy. He was in an affair after all. He was a serial art thief. He’d stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars in art paintings. Heck, he was spiraling in a catastrophic way. Also, he had a wife that he wasn’t listening to. Diana was wanting to have a baby, but Roger was being selfish. And instead he would spend money on her lavishly.
Which brings us to our ending. Roger signals that he gets what is really important. And that is Diana. Diana, to her credit, made it clear that all the expensive gifts didn’t matter at all. Nor the expensive house. So we are given a number of key cues with that ending. A) She is pregnant, and Roger has done something that isn’t selfish for once. B) They are selling the house and beginning to live a life that is within their budget. C) They are both saying that love, and each other, is really what matters.
To be honest, in any other movie, this would be the dumbest ending ever. But it really works here. I don’t know, what did you think of the ending? Personally the movie was so shockingly in not what it says it is in the trailer, I’d let this movie get away with anything. I was pretty impressed with how off balanced I was from beginning to end. But did you get why Clas was so motivated? It turned out that Clas hadn’t actually quit as the CEO of HOTE. He was just attempting to take on the job at Pathfinder in order to get their technology. It was just a white collar sabotage. Why did he need it. No idea. Nor do I really care. Though, if you’d like to explain it to me I’ll definitely listen. Find the comments section below and help us all understand it!
Edited by: CY