So it’s all over, finally. We know who did it, and why. And once again we’ll have to find a way of detaching ourselves from a group of Nordic characters who’ve made their way into our hearts, in all their chrome-coordinated, subtitled glory.
Saga Noren and Martin Rohde are wiser but much, much wearier, after a gripping finale that borrowed elements from films such as Seven (as hinted previously with the socially-aware serial killer) – where killing their culprit is the intuitive, but very wrong, response, and not only because it’s exactly what he wants.
But, they made it very much their own, too, with all the character traits we’ve absorbed over 10 beautifully paced episodes, brought out to bear in an un-cliched but thoroughly logical and satisfying finale.
There are so many good things to say about The Bridge – the acting across the board, the production design, Saga’s car. Here, off the top of my head, are just five – see if you agree...
Saga Noren – Where The Killing’s Sarah Lund went, so Saga shall follow. Actress Sofia Helin is apparently a happy mother of two, something I can hardly believe. It’s a testament to her acting skills that it's so difficult to imagine her doing anything other than stomping around in her boots, and speeding in her car. She’s very still, like a patient woodland animal. When we catch her sitting in the office, staring at the screen waiting for the killer to slip up, it feels like she will stay in that position for as long as it takes. And what starts out as rich comedy when she tries to learn social skills – “good job, everyone” she barks at her colleagues, looking for approval from Martin – takes on a heartbreaking dimension in the final scenes. A class act.
Martin Rohde – He’s cute, stubbled, kind and flawed. Morten may have the empathy that Saga misses, but he’s terribly lacking in other areas. His sympathy for grieving witness Charlotte ends up between her sheets, and we learn gradually of his shortcomings in looking after his various family incarnations. But he learns too, and changes, and pays a terrible price for his various mid-life crises.
The music – I can’t picture the Oresund Bridge without the scraping strings of The Bridge’s theme music in my ears. The casually haunting tune, with its scraps of English in between the Danish sounds is Hollow Talk by Danish band Choir of Young Believers, and is a great example of form meeting content.
The supporting cast – Everyone from sad, sweet August (Emil Birk Hartmann) trying in vain to reach his father, beautiful Mette Rohde (Puk Scharbau), the freshly de-wigged Charlotte to Saga’s boss – “not everyone is as understanding as you” – puts in a performance that could have stood alone in a series. As for deranged Daniel the journalist (Christian Hillborg), he’s a one-man morality tale for our times, and not just about staying away from locked cars.
The Oresund Bridge itself – Physically spectacular, magnificently metaphoric, it’s where we start and where we return, after a meticulously crafted story that takes us to many a corner in Nordic society, includes many political, social, almost Dickensian chapters, and then sweeps us full circle for a proper personal revenge tale.
The Bridge is out now on DVD and Blu-Ray. Pictures below...