This article was originally written as an article for the Mancunion newspaper.
Director: Hans Petter Moland
Cast: Stellan Skarsgård, Kristofer Hivju, Bruno Ganz, Pål Sverre Hagen, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen
Running Time: 1hr 56min
Plot: Nils ‘Citizen of the Year’ Dickman (Stellan Skarsgård) gets tough on crime in his wintry Norwegian community after his innocent son is killed by a local health-obsessed mobster (Pål Sverre Hagen). Things heat up when, after a slew of disappearances, the Serbs jump in to make everyone cold.
Ever since Fargo (the film, not the Tim From The Office one) splashed its crimson brand of black humour all over snow-swept cinema screens in 1996, the world has been waiting for another gangster-action flick even half as funny or well-directed as the Coen Bro’s classic. This film is not that film, but apart from one cheeky homage – and who can begrudge them that? – to the aforementioned crime-caper, In Order of Disappearance follows its own mischievously dark, unpredictable trajectory.
‘You know what Dickman means in Norwegian? Cock man! Haha. HA!’ – (RIP soon to be KIA henchman).
Nils Dickman (Stellan Skarsgård) is a Swedish immigrant beloved of his family and adoptive people. He is, as even Homer would concede, the ultimate Mr Plough, driving his 6 tonne battle ram through blizzards day in, day out, so that the townsfolk may pass freely through the valleys without crashing into snowbanks or freezing to death. Dickman is a good man: then his son gets killed. Dickman is now an angry man. His transformation from the Gentle Giant to Rambo ‘I Will Find You’ McLane is just painful enough and desperate enough so as to be believable; when he begins shovelling through local drug runners to find his boy’s murderer, there’s no questioning his ability to do so. Each kill scene is neatly spaced, marked by a blank screen bearing the name of the latest ‘disappeared’ victim, accompanied with their corresponding religious symbol. Nils doesn’t discriminate; he takes out Catholics, Protestants, Jews… and whatever they are in Serbia.
In Order of Disappearance (or Kraftidioten, to use the Nynorsk name) isn’t anywhere near as gleeful as a Coen brothers hit or a bit of Martin McDonagh (In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths), but it is nevertheless a witty, impacting and slickly made slice of dark humour. It also contains a man falling into a wood-chipper type device, so if that’s all you recall from Fargo then this is definitely for you.