(Danish for Castle meaning the Government Building: in Danish with English subtitles)
New Danish Drama all abut politics. No murder. Set in Copenhagen the heroine is Birgitte who is a sparkly eyed leader of the Moderates party. There are loads of parties. The Moderates. The Greens. Lab our who seem distinctly un-Labour like by British standards. The Freedom Party which is unknown to us:possibly a bit right? and at least one other i may have missed.
Birgitte goes to work in the fabulous government building arriving on her bike. She never goes home on it however always taking taxis. Things in her political world that is are in turmoil. She has an elderly advisor who seems very wise and a young spin doctor called Jasper.
I did miss the opening 5-10 minutes as is my wont and found it a little confusing that the current Prime Minister and his wife appeared to be meeting up in Harrods, London. A clue was that everyone was talking English and it looked like Harrods.
The Danish Prime Minister is having an English speaking meeting and is called away by his wife who s freaking out that she can’t buy a Mulbery bag for 70,000 Kroner which is apparently £8,000. Her credit card won’t pay for it. The P.M’s wife is throwing a grown up tantrum and the P.M is forced to pay for it to prevent a scene. Unfortunately he left his wallet behind and only has what we find out later is his Government Eurocard. Oops.
Confusingly, quick as a flash and n sooner than the blink of an eye we are back in Copenhagen with no planes or Airports in sight. We just accept the swift scene change.
We are introduced to or second heroine who is a sylphlike young TV newsreader on a show run by a re-incarnated Meyer from Forbrydelsen I! Hurray! Meyer is all stern and doesn’t wear cute sailor type jumpers any more but suitably gold rimmed glasses and chews gum whilst sternly directing the production of the show. At one point he says rather formulaically:
“That was great Television boys and girls!”
Well what had just transpired had been however it sounded a somewhat trite phrase.
The young News Reporter we discover is having an affair with the Prime Minister’s spin doctor called Olaf who also has really cool gold rimmed designer spectacles. In a classic film scene we see them meet for a night of passion, thankfully not portrayed, where the young blonde Reporter TV girl wakes up the next morning and is excitedly chatting away as he puts her make-up on. Interestingly, she applies her make-up with a Q-tip) She chatters on delightedly however there is as yet, no answer from the bed…
The other familiar face to Forbrydelsen II fans is Ulrik Strange, who is Birgitte the politician’s husband. At first we think, admiringly, that he is house husband as he is obviously running the house and cooking after the 2 children. Then we see him lecturing in a giant hall, a University by the look of it, Politics/Economics or something cool as his subject. There is a beautiful dark-haired woman student with a big crush on him on the front row:
“Amir, get a boyfriend” he admonishes her. Oh dear.
Ulrik is gorgeous of course. As well as easy going and calm and encourages Birgitte to bluff her way into a possible position as Prime Minister:
“Men pretend to be twice as good as they are in interviews and women only half as good as they are and then say what they can’t do”.
He tells her.
“Why do you think there are no woman poker players?”
Birgitte has a lovely house, two lovely children, perfect husband, seriously gorgeous light fittings and furniture. Her perfect husband wears cardigans and writes on his laptop in his study and dare i remember:he too has gold glasses! (spectacles) Ulrik brings her glasses of wine and when he doesn’t she drinks his and he doesn’t mind. He whistles at the children in the park when the are arguing, and tells Birgitte;
” That’s how you play the head!”
Ulrik buys Birgitte a new suit when she’s too fat for her old one and jokes that he made the dry cleaners give it to him since they shrank the old one. Yes, the perfect family, perfect house, perfect children, one boy, one girl. Perfect perfect perfect. If they were any more perfect they and the show would be American..
Birgitte, in shades of Forbrydelsen II refuses the Danish pastries (Danish-geddit!) that her husband buys for breakfast and then the daily Danish pastries served at work. This is because she has put weight on. Healthy choices you know. Boring. Now there is a giant bowl of fruit instead.
I did find myself wishing for a crumpled Detective to come stumbling along, however one never came, to investigate the pre-emptive passing of poor Olaf.
Hopefully all this perfectness is the prelude to things going horribly wrong. As is the way in films when we are shown happy happy families. Just before the storm. Otherwise i’m not sure how it will sustain my interest just being about politics.
I will still watch it to dwell on and revel in a strong female character role model. he idea of having half of Government as women (as in Norway) is an interesting one. I wonder if things would or might be different that way? (wars ‘n stuff)