Mammon was really rather good fun. OK scrap that as it sounds unfeeling considering what happens in the first episode. Lets say overall. Or all in all.
Peter Veras is the eponymous hero, one of a tight-knit band of Journalists working on a financial expose together.
By the end of the episode he is already excommunicated from the office and the paper and working as a Sports Journalist. Having become obsessed, in his colleague’s eyes, unhealthily, on the case he worked on. Peter was supposed to LET IT GO. But of course, he didn’t. However now Peter seems actually interested in an ice hockey game so he must have changed his mind about not liking sport.
All classic ingredients in place then: the once high flying professional brought down by the one true case that nobody else took as seriously as him. Although the rest of the journalists appear to be still investigating the case at one point. No matter, they reject and eject Peter from the office when he turns up uninvited.
Fast forward five years and we find Peter Veras dejected and dull of mind. Until the case rears its head again by dint of a mysterious visit…and Lo he will pair up with a fellow traveller on this renewed quest. Shaking off the doldrums and the dullness of his post-case life. Such is the plot for just about each and every movie of same.
Then there is the beautiful and mysterious financial crime unit expert investigator. I say mysterious since she is darkly troubled by an unseen presence in which nobody believes. Plus she jogs in a forest.
There are unseen shady doings lurking at the edges, bubbling underneath. That will no doubt slowly surface for our eponymous hero, his fellow traveller and the beautiful financial crime unit lady Heglunde, to battle and join forces against.
Norway appears full of wide and open spaces in between built up sky scrapers and urban offices. Everyone drives on wide motorways to go home. Peter’s brother lives in a house with furnishings and a pink sofa to drool over and near die for. People go cycling at night for fun. So it must be quiet on the roads.
(You never see the whole of a room, only sideways and there appear to be walkways leading outside but covered in. Maybe the houses are shaped like this for the warmth.)
To say much more would give too much of the plot away. It is all shaping up very nicely.
Coincidentally, just before watching episode two of Mammon, i had watched an extremely daft but mostly enjoyably silly film called The Box. I mention The Box since it was chock full of severely sinister and scary set pieces of horror. such set pieces were remarkable in their simplicity, economy and effectiveness.
For example: have some weirdly staring teenagers babble incomprehensibly and then slowly trickle blood from their noses. Have old people with over-large heads stare and stare until the receiver of the stare becomes convinced that the old person is evil or possessed. And so on. This old person stare seems to work better in movies the more ostensibly ugly the old person is. Don’t ask me, I’m just describing the device.
The Box and its enjoyable oddities came to mind when watching this episode of Mammon. Simply because things started to go south and get deliciously sinister and horror-tinged.
There was a visual grotesquerie coming into play in a very old fashioned horror classic way. some characters are appearing to have slightly over large heads or faces . I am considering whether, indeed, some of the characters have been chosen with this very purpose in mind.
Its getting to be almost like a ghost story, with large and unusual faces, staring in stillness out of the gloom. Even admittedly beautiful Heglunde, has a large and luminous other worldly beauty.
The mysterious paintings are ugly. Things are going bump in the night. We even have the Priest, lurking around in the night-time shadows of the church. The luridly lit painting in front of the altar.
Then there is the conspiratorial whisperings into phones about how much and exactly what Peter Veras knows. By various characters we have previously trusted. Leading us to wonder if they are all in on the conspiracy or not.
There is the estimable acting of the eccentric Newspaper editor with his talk of how much better people could keep secrets in the old days. Presumably World War II. He is always filmed in almost uncomfortable close-up.
Mammon is esoteric and unusual.
Sports Journalist to Peter Veras:
“First they will go after the paper, then Mathesen,then, you..”
“I can’t just rub it under the carpet, do you understand?”
“That’s why you are in sports”
The Financial Crime Unit Boss to Heglund:
“”You called for back-up three times, this is financial crime, next time call for back-up only if you’re shot”
“There are black holes..unexplained things”!
Peter’s Brother to Andreas, his son:
“Here is your birthday present, Encyclopaedia Britannica number 29, the rest will be sent over from my office”!..
Nb. Even two black parked cars with their headlights on outside the Church at night take on a sinister air..
‘Nother Nb. You would think that after what happens the first time that Peter is beckoned to follow a be-suited strange man: might have led Peter to reconsider following another such man with the same request..but no.