🇸🇪 Farang: Dead Man Running 🇸🇪
by Gina Meardon
Farang is a Swedish Drama/Thriller set in Thailand. 8 x 45 minute episodes. Available on Channel 4, All 4 in the UK.
Writers: Malin Lagarlöf, Stefan Thunberg, Veronica Zacco, Niklas Rockström, Anders Sparring
Former criminal Rickard has fled Sweden and the friends he testified against following a robbery. He abandons his family, changes his name and starts a new life in Thailand. 10 years later he is still a wanted man with a price on his head, with old friends now enemies and wishing him dead, he cannot go home. Instead he is a small-time crook in the back alleys of Phuket. Life is tough and dirty, but at least it won’t kill him.
That is until his 15-year-old daughter, Thyra, turns up in search of her father. Rickard’s attempts at ignoring her drive her into the dark Underworld he knows only too well. With his cover blown their lives become a battle for survival, but how can he protect his daughter when he can’t even protect himself?
Ola Rapace ~ Rickard
Louise Nyvall ~ Thyra
Sahajak Boonthanakit ~ Prasert
Gerhard Hoberstorfer ~ Birdie
Jacques Karlberg ~ Fabian
Antti Reini ~ Mark
For those of you expecting a thrilling romp in a sun and sea soaked paradise, hoping to see the exotic and stunning side of Thailand – in a vein similar to the cinematography of, say White Lines, with white beaches, clear blue seas and ‘beautiful people’ – you will be in for a bitter disappointment. Farang is not an advert for an Island paradise, far from it. It is a gritty, violent and dark Scandi noir set fair and square in the seedy underbelly of Phuket, in a community of drop-outs and hustlers (mostly expat Swedes), who have made that particular corner of Thailand their home. It would not be on my bucket list of ‘must-see’ holiday destinations.
Nevertheless Rikard (the ‘Farang’ of the title, meaning ‘Foreigner’) is happy there. It has been his home for 10 years. He has a new identity, is safe among friends who do not know his past and do not ask questions because “… foreigners come to Thailand for 2 reasons, to sunbathe or to hide.”
However all that changes with the arrival of Thyra, the daughter he abandoned all those years before when he fled Sweden. Following the death of her mother she has left her unhappy life behind, determined to find the father she barely remembers.
What follows is an unravelling of Rickard’s life as he (reluctantly at first) begins to re-build his relationship with his wilful daughter. However the consequences of his initial rejection of her have led her into the arms of Fabian, a young hustler, who unfortunately works for some pretty unsavoury characters. It is not long before the wheels well and truly come off Rickard’s well-ordered and protected life.
Renowned International star Ola Rapace totally owns the role of Rickard in this fast-paced, sometimes nail-biting and watching-through-fingers, drama. He has strong support from Louise Nyvall, the young actress who plays his daughter Thyra.
Other cast members worthy of mention are Jacques Karlberg in the role of the young, naïve Fabian, Gerhard Hobberstoffer as Birdie (whose life is just as complex and even more precarious than Rickard’s) and Antti Reine, the Finnish actor, who plays the sort of car mechanic you would dread owing money too.
Add to the mix a seedy Thai prison, a ruthless Chinese drugs lord hellbent on re-claiming ‘lost property’, corruption and murder and you have a thrilling series which I can definitely recommend as binge-worthy.
Ignore the 6.8 IMDB rating, I think Farang more worthy of a 7.5.
Review by Gina Meardon
Trailer for Farang:
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