The Dark Arts Review #9

Darks Arts is back. This week I am reviewing 2/3 of the Danish Pusher trilogy. To be honest I’m not sure if I can bother watching the last one. As you can already tell I’m not in love with this film. In fact to continue with the love analogy this is the girl that you hooked up with once, wasn’t that impressed but still you went back at it the next morning. Just to be polite. If you go for a third time then that’s just asking for trouble.

The trilogy focuses on the Danish, specifically Copenhagen, underworld. A world run by track suited, bald, racist, tatted–up, coke abusing men with the intelligence of a 12 year old. There is a line in the sublime tv Show The Wire where a cop wonders “How the fuck is there so much violence when it comes to drug dealing. It’s a product like everything else, there is no need for guns or violence.” And the whole way through this film i wished I was watching something as intelligent as The Wire.

Each film, Pusher 1 and 2, has a twist at the end that almost makes watching the film acceptable or even tolerable. Each film follows a member of the underworld and their attempt to rectify the debt that they have stumbled into. Along the way they learn the virtues of growing up and taking responsibility. Both films are basically a coming of age tale, set in grim, barely lit Copenhagen. It is intriguing that the director is practically colour-blind and shot most of it on hand held cameras in order to give it a gritty documentary film. It makes the first film had to watch at times and the sequel seems to suffer from the Guy Ritchie Kabbalah effect used in Revolver. Too much emphasis on colour is a problem in gritty films.

Let me finish by saying this is a film that doesn’t glamorise the drug dealing lifestyle and for that it should be rewarded. The first film was shot independently and thus allows the viewer to forgive its deficiencies. However both sequels were made since the director was bankrupt. In doing so he took away any shine that could have been gained from the original work.

Don’t let the trailer fool you. It did me.

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