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The Fall vs The Bridge (review)

As I’ve recently seen both of these series and they both more or less handle the same theme -police investigates murders with a woman being the one calling the shots- I couldn’t help but comparing them.

The Bridge is Danish/Swedish. It starts with a dead woman that’s found on Oresund Bridge. The one that devides Danmark from Sweden.
The body is found exactly in the middle.
Because of this, both a Danish policewoman (Saga Noren, played by Sofia Helin) and a Swedish policeman (Martin Rhode, played by Kim Bodnia) have to cooperate together to puzzle out who did this.

The Fall is made in the UK, but feels very USA. This is probably because everyone knows Gillian Anderson to be American. She does try to adapt a British accent at times, and by mentioning she’s supposedly from London, this should probably explain that, but….it doesn’t convince.
It’s set in Belfast, which makes the accents fly about. I must admit I do love that a lot.

The Bridge shows how Saga Noren, who runs her department (but isn’t the boss), has her own ways of dealing with things. Odd behaviour, one might say, such as changing her shirt when everybody is still there and simply telling someone to do something for her (‘go and ask Mr Blabla where he was in that night’) and no ‘please’, or  ‘thank you’, follows. She will ask deeply unsensitive or slightly inappropriate questions without the blink of an eye, saying ‘I really have to know’. You see her thinking process. She is not a sexy woman, she is just someone doing her job. She’s good at it.

The Fall shows how Stella Gibson takes charge from the start. She is very, very careful with what she says (but maybe that’s because of the phoney accent) and she’s hot. Or supposed to be that. Stiletto heels, tight skirts, waving blouse, lipstick, etc. On her first night in Ireland, she asks to be introduced to another police officer she sees. She tells him in what hotel she stays, what room number.
That is the kind of woman who is in charge in The Fall.
When this police officer is shot the next day, his visit to her hotelroom becomes briefly of interest to the police, but only because he is a married man and she should not have done that. She is hated for it, even. Because it’s Ireland and he’s married. A woman doing things like that is ‘not done’.

The Bridge shows how a team works well together. They consult, get information through while Martin and Saga are on the road for all kinds of stuff related to the case. You get the feeling Saga and Martin have changed standard roles (Martin is quite sensitive, where Saga is not at all), which gives it an interesting spin. Martin is very feeling, wants to be everyone’s friend. Saga doesn’t have this. Just to solve the case. Her special behaviour is never named, but you get a Sheldon Cooper (Big Bang Theory) vibe anyway.

The Fall shows how a team doesn’t make progress. Maybe it’s just how it’s depicted, but I mostly became frustrating watching this series. Paul Spector is supposed to be a Grief Counselor and you see him at his job, doing basically nothing. You don’t get why people think he’s any good at it. It seems like the only place where he’s truly a Grief Counselor, is in the script.
It’s Stella Gibsons thoughts and the police wanting to handle things ‘neatly’, which means not solving anything, because it could be hurtful to someone in the team.
Also, Ms Gibson is leading the investigation, but obviously doesn’t like to get her hands dirty. She barely does anything herself.

In The Bridge nearly nothing happens without a reason.

In The Fall, there’s a lot of stuff that happens without it being cleared up why that was necessary to show in any way.

In The Bridge the suspects get away, hide, the normal game. It’s believeable.

In The Fall, when an arrest is made, no handcuffs are used, the suspect just comes along like a lamb to the slaughterhouse. It doesn’t make sense in any way.

Both series do have very skilled actors. Sofia Helin is not Sigourney Weaver in Snowcake, but she does give the performance a convincing shot and she is truly amazing doing that. Kim Bodia looks so much like a kicked puppy, you just wanna hold him into your arms half the time. That’s when you don’t wanna slap him because he likes women too much to be believeable as a married man. Dag Malmberg reminds slightly of Bill Nighy, but only in appearances. He is a kind and loving father figure, proper in leading his team.

Gillian Anderson is excellent, just not specifically in this part. I would have expected more depth in a part that she played, to be fair. But the same goes for  Jamie Dornan, who has a lot going for him, but in the end, you still have no clue as to what goes on inside his head. You don’t see any real motive. There’s just the vague talk about it between him and Gibson and the nanny, but no real point.
It’s too bad Niamh McGrady didn’t get more spotlight. As an empathetic police woman, you clearly see her care for her job, the victims and so on. You like her instantly.

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Posted by on February 29, 2016 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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Rita, Netflix

Rita is een serie over een lerares op een Deense school. Rita is er niet zomaar eentje. Ze heeft hart voor de zaak, maar schopt tegelijkertijd zoveel mogelijk ‘heilige huisjes’ in. Ze draagt strakke broeken, rookt als een schoorsteen en voorziet zowel leerlingen, collega’s als ouders van (on)gevraagd advies. Als iets haar niet zint, krijgt ze het wel voor elkaar dat het veranderd. Niet zonder slag of stoot.

Het is een Deens schoolsysteem, dus ik moet heel eerlijk zeggen dat me niet geheel duidelijk is tot welke leeftijd de kinderen precies op school zitten. Ik heb het idee een jaar of 14, 15, maar het kan ook wat langer zijn. Dat er daarna ook nog universitair opgeleid kan worden is ook duidelijk, maar niet binnen deze school. Er zitten echter ook kleuters op, dus weet niet helemaal of dit nu, voor Nederlandse begrippen, een soort gecombineerde school is (basisschool met middelbare school) of dat dit naar standaard Deens model is.

De serie is niet heel ‘rauw’. Natuurlijk zijn de leerlingen brutaal en vervelend, maar het Hollywoodse ‘fuck off, motherfucker’ is hier niet te bekennen. Dat is ook weleens lekker. De kinderen zien er heel fris en verzorgd uit, eigenlijk. De vuiltjes in de lucht blijken eerder uit gesprekken.
Rita heeft zelf drie kinderen en is slechts door een forse haag gescheiden van haar onderkomen. Haar jongste zoon woont nog bij haar, de oudste twee zijn op zichzelf.
Doordat haar eigen kinderen al wat ouder zijn, zie je haar ook haar eigen leven inrichten zoals het haar zint. Sowieso is ze niet iemand om een blad voor de mond te nemen, waarbij ze zichzelf vrijwel continu in de problemen brengt. Sommige problemen zie je enigszins van tevoren aankomen, anderen dan weer niet.
Dat haar jongste zoon homo is en dat ze het met de directeur doet, bijvoorbeeld. Ook dat ze een verleden heeft met de aankomende schoonvader van haar oudste zoon. Het zijn clichés en toch wordt er vooral een lollige draai aangegeven, wat alles met Rita’s karakter te maken heeft. Ze duldt geen inmenging, heeft liever zelf de touwtjes in handen. En dat gaat haar reuzegoed af.
Het is een verademing om eens naar een non-Hollywood serie te kijken, die zichzelf niet al bij voorbaat schouderklopjes uitdeelt omdat ze ‘zo goed bezig zijn’. Deze serie behandeld onderwerpen als abortus, homoseksualiteit, drugs, verboden liefdes, als ‘hobbeltjes op de weg’, in plaats van ‘oh wauw, zie ONS eens goed bezig zijn’. Heerlijk.

 

Rita is a series about a teacher on a Danish school. Rita isn’t a normal teacher. She’s got her whole heart in it and not at the same time. She has big trouble with rules. She wears tight jeans, smokes like a chimney and she gives unsollicited advice to anyone. From colleague to student to parents. If she doesn’t like something, she’ll make sure it changes. Not without trouble. 

Since it’s a Danish schoolsystem, I couldn’t really tell until what age the children are at this particular school. It looks to me like the children are until 14, 15, but it could be elder. It is possible to go to college after this school. At the same time there’s children about 6 years of age at the school, so it’s not the Dutch system I’m used to and I don’t know if this is what all schools in Danmark look like either.

The serie is not that ‘hard’. Ofcourse there’s bullying bastards and annoying trolls here and there, but the typical Hollywood ‘fuck off, motherfucker’, isn’t detectable here. To be honest, it’s nice for a change. The children look very fresh and cared for. The problems appear in dialogues more than anything else.
Rita has three children of her own and is only devided by a big bush from the schoolyard. Her house is just right next to it. Her youngest son, who also attends the school, still lives in with her. The two eldest have flown out.
Since her children are quite grown up, you see Rita making most of her adult life. She isn’t the person anyway to shut up, and this gives her more trouble than less, generally. Some of these problems you see before it’s depicted, others not so much.
Her youngest son being gay and herself having an affair with the Head master, for instance. Also, her having a history with the father-in-law of her oldest son. These are cliche’s that wouldn’t work if it weren’t for Rita’s character. She doesn’t want interference, wants total control. And she does a bloody great job!
It’s a charming non-Hollywood serie in which subjects as abortion, homosexuality, adultery, are handled far more relaxed and therefore quite elaborating. It’s great!

 

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2015 in Daily life, Opinion

 

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