The first season of the outstanding Icelandic crime-drama TRAPPED used the hook that the cast were physically confined in a remote small town, cut off by roads blocked with huge snowdrifts; ferries frozen in the fjord. Typical Nordic noir territory.
The second series goes a more philosophical route. We return to the same small-knit community where this time a noxious brew of family feuds, social division, political back-biting, environmental tensions and outright superstition fester into violence, madness and murder.
The characters are still trapped – but by their relationships, by the entangled familial bonds of responsibility, rebellion, obligation and duty. And hatred. And infatuation. And genuine affection.
The result is simply superb. Gorgeous cinematography which drags you into the stark splendour of the Icelandic landscape. Complicated, subtle characters who defy genre stereotypes with their realistic – occasionally unfathomable – behaviour. A plot packed with red herrings (not necessarily pickled) and dark secrets. Sudden moments of genuine sadness.
Andri the investigator is a wonderful character, imbued with oceans of humanity by the actor who plays him. He’s a great big bloke, the type who typically busts heads and kicks ass in crime TV series, but is portrayed instead as a sensitive, gentle person. In Trapped, interrogation scenes are quiet conversations where the police officers are shown to be sympathetic, nuanced characters. And that then makes the rare moments of extreme brutality all the more shocking, of course.
Brilliant. One measly mark deducted for the slightly less-than-credible finale. It seemed that dramatic purposes demanded a shoot-out stand-off, but the touching delicacy of the actual final scene more than compensated for the cinematic sequence which preceded it. Recommended for any viewer who misses Saga Noren…
Reviewed by Rowena Hoseason
Trapped is available at Amazon