Friday, December 23, 2016
Dicte: Dark and Licht
A friend on Twitter suggested I watch Dicte on Netflix to feed my new-found craving for Nordic Noir, and I'm glad I did. The three-season series was one of the most thoroughly enjoyable of this genre, and though I say this about just about every show that takes place in Scandinavia or Iceland with English subtitles and American euphemisms and music, it's especially true of Dicte.
To be clear, Dicte's not all dark. There are some laughing-out-loud lines and scenes sprinkled into this drama, which is one third police procedural, one third newspaper reporter, and one third slice of life of Danish upper middle class living in the second largest city in the country, Aarhus up north.
Now whenever I see or hear that name, I feel like singing that Crosby, Stills, and Nash song - "Our House" - and Aarhus does seem like a very very fine house, but it also has its fair share of low-life residents, sickos, and the kind of people who commit a gruesome crime or two. Dicte indeed seems to have a penchant for running into dead bodies, and these provide fodder for her investigative reporter instincts and talents, much to the consternation, amusement, and appreciation of law enforcement, depending on which day of the week it is, how desperate they are for some help, and depending on which detective you're talking about.
Like all good noir detective stories, the evil Dicte looks into eventually spills into her life and the lives of those she loves, providing heart break, tears, and stunning surprise lurking behind near and distant corners. Iben Hjejle was just fabulous in the lead role, as was Lars Brygmann as the main detective, and in fact everyone in the cast. See this on a cold night - or for that matter, even when it gets warmer.