The Investigation: HBOMax, BBC ~ A Non-Spoiler Review

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Image shows scenes from The Investigation. Centre is the HBO theatrical poster for the show


🇩🇰 The Investigation 🇩🇰

The Investigation (2020) is a Danish crime drama on BBC Iplayer U.K. HBO Max US, RTÉ player Ireland, Crave Canada. 6 x 45 min episodes. 

Crew:

Writer: Tobias Lindholm 

Director: Tobias Lindholm 

Cinematographer: Magnus Nordenhof Jønck

Music: Rune Tonsgaard Sorensen 

Premise: 

“Copenhagen Police’s Homicide unit, headed by Jens Møller, tries to solve the murder of Swedish journalist Kim Wall.” IMDb 

Cast: 

Søren Malling as Jens Møller

Pilou Asbæk as Jakob Buch-Jepsen 

Pernilla August as Ingrid Wall 

Rolf Lassgård as Joachim Wall 

Laura Christensen as Maibritt Porse 

Dulfi Al-Jabouri as Musa Amin 

Hans Henrik Clemensen as Nikolaj Storm 

Henrik Birch as Lars Møller 

Anders Juul as Christian Skov 

Henning Valin Jakobsen as Klaus Rasmussen

Notes: 

The Investigation was made in close cooperation with Kim Wall’s parents and even features their family dog in some episodes. 

Tobias Lindholm is an Oscar-nominated writer (The Hunt) multi-award-winning Danish director-writer. Tobias also directed an episode of Mindhunter (Netflix). 

For those who are unfamiliar with Kim Wall’s murder wishing to know more either before, or after, watching here is a useful link:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Kim_Wall

Review: 

TV shows and movies about infamous murders tend to focus on either the murderer or the victim, The Investigation does neither. Rather, this limited series turns its lens upon the investigation itself. 

The perpetrator is only referred to in the third-person e.g. verbal reports as to what he said during interrogations. He has no name and receives no extra attention, except as to his possible motivations and his to find enough hard evidence to nail him in court. 

Kim Wall and her legacy is emphasised. She is present throughout through her parents’ memories, their pride, and in the thoughts of the police, the lawyer and all others involved. Her simple stone memorial on the beach also acts as a focal point for us and in real life. 

The pace and direction are very deliberate to mirror the investigation itself and to emphasise to us, the viewers, the frustrations and time involved and to make us feel them too. Likewise, the irritating phone calls that Jens receives from the press are designed to irritate us just as much. All these elements and more combine to make us “feel”. 

The writing, directing and cinematography in The Investigation are outstanding, as is the editing. The multiple corridor shots are very effective as are the part-screen shots. Everything is so beautifully framed. The camerawork during the searches at sea is very impressive and must have been tough to film. 

One of the outstanding sections for me was the use of cadaver dogs, the diving and ultimately how they solved the problems they were having from the readings the dogs were giving them. The diving is very realistic and closely involved the actual divers who took part in the multiple searches. 

The cast in this are actors who are all at the top of their game. Søren Malling as poor Jens, we can feel the pressures that make him shut off at times (yes, those long stares into nothing) is pivotal. Pilou Asbæk as the equally frustrated State Prosecutor shows great range, as always. Laura Christensen impresses as the hyper-focused detective who realises that mistakes can be forgiven. In fact, had this not been so the perpetrator may never have been successfully prosecuted! 

Turning to the actors who play Kim’s parents, Ingrid and Joachim (Rolf Lassgård and Pernilla August), their performances are both understated and deeply affecting. We really feel for them. 

I was incredibly impressed with this production which is emotionally charged in places but in an understated way, so you don’t feel like you are being manipulated as a viewer. The “epilogue” was a good decision as to its form of closure. 

The Investigation is not “entertainment” as with many other creations. This is a dignified, respectful and not in the least sensationalised piece of television about a truly hideous crime. This one will stay with me for quite a while. 

“She did nothing wrong. She was only curious. She was exactly what we want our children to be.” 

R.I.P. Kim Wall 22 March 1987 – 10 or 11 August 2017 

Awards: 

The Investigation aired on 22 January 2021 but it, and its cast, have already received 5 award nominations: 

Danish Film Awards (Robert)

Best TV Series ~ Tobias Lindholm, Jonas Allen, Caroline Blanco, Peter Bose, Rene Ezra 

Best Supporting Actress ~ Pernilla August 

Best Actress ~ Laura Christensen 

Best Supporting Actor ~ Pilou Asbæk 

Best Actor ~ Søren Malling 

Trailer: 


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