Crimes Of Passion- My First Review Series One-Episode One. In Swedish with English subtitles. Minor Spoilers. Some notes and dialogue with my review at the end. Saturdays @ 9pm BBC4 or Channel number 107 on Virgin Media TV

BBC4:
Crimes Of Passion

Some Notes and dialogue.
Explanatory notes: Puck is the eponymous heroine who is studying at the University and writing her thesis on Murderers in novels for her Doctorate degree or Ph.D.

 Eje is the startlingly handsome beau who is a friend of Puck’s University Professor.  The Professor has a summer house on an island and invites Puck to come to stay for the Midsummer celebrations.  Eje is already on the island when Puck first arrives. The Professor then introduces Eje to Puck.

Episode One.


Song:
“Beware my foolish heart”
“How white the ever constant moon”
“Be careful my beating heart..”..”
“..for they give the same sensations..”
“You’re locked into the magic of the kiss..”

Professor to Puck:
“It is a small island, no phones, no neighbours, isolation..”

Next thing you know Puck is sitting in the back of the boat with the Professor, on her way.

They really know how to party in the 1950’s.  The Swedish had egg and spoon race and sack races.

Simply fantastic forest with slight swirls of mist slithering in between the trunks.

Ooo.  Cool dream sequence alert.

It is truly a beautiful black speedboat.

Uh oh.  “Twig snaps”  and “wings fluttering”.
Puck walks back through the forest but is getting a bad vibe..

Just as I was admiring the heather.

Eje to Puck:
We will have to wake up all the others”
Puck:
“But we are the only ones here..”
Eje:
“I called my friend, the Stockholm Police Detective..”

Detective Christer Wuijk turns up.
Crister:
“I drove 90 miles, hungover, for this?”

Christer for a moment really resembled Jon Ham in Mad Men.

The writer in Crimes Of Passion has writer’s block and his typewriter has only written two words:
“Death is..”!

I thought I heard a metronome ticking until I realised it was actually the sound of maracas on a Bossa Nova record.

I like the several:
“thunks!”

The forest reminds me of the forest in Never Wipe Away Tears Without Gloves.

I have my suspect and it isn’t the most obvious one.


Detective Christer:
Anyone have a gun?”
Lil:
“I am a pacifist..”
The doleful Professor:
“I  have a  Luger!”

(The writer’s notes)
“Death is a noose..”
“Silence of love your eyes have stopped singing”
“Blood trickles, a tear down my cheek as it were..”

Christer to Puck:
“You think like a Cop” (Policen)

Christer is cool and actually has those shirt links that go around your arms to keep a shirt neat.

Detective Christer’s idea of interrogation technique is to shout loudly and move forward towards the suspect whilst brandishing hand-cuffs.

(flies buzz  birds caw)

The plot is a bit tiresome really.

Christer:
“Every single one of you is lying to me”!
Christer is doing a classic Poirot or Miss Marple.  Standing in front of them all whilst they are gathered around, sitting.

Is the mystery  tied up each episode I wonder or does the story carry on?
We will find out shortly.

Oh no.  This is a spooky scene.

The murderer:
“I love with the same passion. the same sensitivity”
“Just like you do”

At the end.
Christer:
“I am in the mood for a bit of fun..”

Trumpety music ensues.  I think it’s Frank Sinatra again.  Boy the music sure got better in the 60’s didn’t it.

***

My First Review.

So Crimes of Passion was just a little underwhelming.  Maybe there was too long a build up to these new European dramas or is it that I have been thoroughly spoilt lately in  depth of drama terms, by the Killing remake Three and Four.

Still, it was all good, clean, 1950’s fun. Well for a short while.  Until the murders started.  However it was generally if not completely socially acceptable to fill the interludes between death with some useful and of frivolous activities.

These 1950’s Swedes displaying more than a little classic British stiff upper lip along with the same games that British children have for sports Day.  Yey.  Except this is updated for adults with the games the same: egg and spoon race and sack race and all, done at a Midsummer party.

Whether these are traditional Midsummer games or an adult party tradition at the time, we do not know.  Certainly Scandinavian drinking songs are very jolly. The banging on the table in unison, the singing together loudly and joyfully.  One could imagine this happening on long, ancient tables in Long-houses of old.

Still, I digress.  As for the plot, as mentioned, I found it tiresome after a while and simply zoned it out.  It had that over tortuous Inspector Montalbano feel for me.

Anyway, the complicated liaisons between the characters are a little dull to consider as their motivations for murder.  I just wasn’t engaged with this convolution of long ago love stories, unhappy marriages and love that still burned today.

On the island there is just the sunshine, the hand knitted cardigans, cheerful flowered shorts and the soothing B-side tunes on the record player.  There are amiable card games and hand washing hung out on a line by a stereotypical 1950’s housewife.  Who was overtly happy and bright.

All the intellectual types are secretly horrified when the Professor’s wife (i will find out her name)  proudly announces that she went to Cookery School instead of University:
“And I am a damn good one too!”  she says .

There is a truly horrific scene in amidst all this bright sunlit play and interludes of murder.  The scene mentioned becoming more severe a dramatic spectacle since it happens completely in a forgotten silence.  As Puck sits, outside in the sunlight forgetting that everything and someone, is not always all as it seems.

Puck, as a fledgling yet most likely born as one, Detective, is prepossessing and bright.  She has a way of thinking outside the box that makes for practical Police deductive work.  However since she is doing her Ph.D. in Murders in Novels,  Puck also utilises her knowledge of the psychology of killers. We see Puck lecturing on the psyche of a murderer in the opening sequence, at University.

Puck is sharp and intuitive as a solver of crimes.
“You think like a Cop”
The dashingly handsome Christer tells Puck.  This is true.  Of course the drama writes itself as they say since we are already, as viewers, presuming that Puck and Detective Christer Wuijk will team up.

Maybe even officially, as a psychological advisor for Puck, that would be cool.

The dream sequences, or visions experienced by Puck and displayed on screen were all ghostly white light and sepia blue green forest.

These scenic stills of night were appreciated by me for their beauty. I felt that the inclusion of these painterly visions added an elegant, artistic and atmospheric feel to Crimes Of Passion.

However I am not entirely sure that this extra veneer of surreal dreams entirely worked for me. Within the whole.  Surely this added, atmospheric element may come together in the drama in time or not.

Meanwhile my eyes are full of sun, fabulous old wooden speedboats and the 1950’s version of what is currently known as a plumber’s vest.

***

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