Eyewitness (Øyevitne) ~ A Non-Spoiler Review

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Photo montage of scenes from Eyewitness. Central image is a theatrical poster for the show.


EYEWITNESS aka Øyevitne (2014) is a Norwegian limited series on Netflix U.K., 6 episodes of 56 min-1 hr. 15 Cert U.K. Available in Norwegian with subtitles.


“Two 15-year-old boys secretly meet up in the forest, only to witness a blood bath. They are seen, but escape trying to keep this as a secret, both in fear of the perpetrator and that their secret is revealed.” IMDb


Axel Bøyum as Philip
Anneke von der Lippe as Helen
Odin Waage as Henning
Per Kjerstad as Ronny Berg Larsen
Bjørn Skagestad as Svend
Tobias Santelmann as Lars
Kim Sørensen as Olle
Fridtjov Såheim as Runar
Yngve Berven as André
Ingjerd Egeberg as Elisabeth
Yngvild Støen Grotmol as Camilla
Anderz Eide as Riseth
Tehilla Blad as Zana

Theatrical poster for Eyewitness


Director: Jarl Emsell Larsen
Writers: Jarl Emsell Larsen, Kathrine Valen Zeiner, Thomas Torjussen (consultant)
Creator: Jarl Emsell Larsen
Cinematographer: Lars Vestergaard
Composer: Geir Bøhren & Bent Åserud

Theatrical poster for Eyewitness (Øyevitne)


This miniseries had been sitting on my watchlist for ages and I am baffled why it took me so long to start it, I mean the cast list is great just for starters! The basic concept was appealing too. Anyway, as they say, “Better late than never” I finally made myself comfortable and let it begin…

Well, the first thing that has to be said is that this show takes no time to throw you headfirst into the fray! From the get-go, the shocks and stakes hit you and hit you hard.

Anneke von der Lippe as Helen in Eyewitness

The cast in this show is amazing! The lead actress Anneke von der Lippe’s gives a phenomenal central performance as cop Helen, showing incredible range – you can see exactly why she won an International Emmy for this role. I thought Per Kjerstad was also incredible in this playing the part with just the right physical presence (one really impressive “workout” scene) and creepy, charming, cold, calculating psychopathy required. Tobias Santelmann was great as Lars (kudos to the costume designers for choosing THAT Harley Davidson jacket). The youngsters in the cast really impressed, especially Axel Bøyum as Philip. Special shout out to Anderz Eide also for his role as Riseth.

Per Kjerstad as Ronny Berg Larsen in Eyewitness

There is depth to characters and their motives and emotions are explored interestingly. The subplots were solid and I enjoyed Yngvild Støen Grotmol’s portrayal of Camilla who is loaded with guilt and therefore is easy to manipulate.

Tobias Santelmann as Lars with Anneke Von der Lippe as Helen in Eyewitness

This series delves into why people may not come forward as witnesses to crimes and that not all criminals are without conscience or any morals. It also calls into question the idea of vigilantism. Another important aspect is how paedophiles and psychopaths prey on the vulnerable. Fostering and the issues that a young person in fostering may face are explored realistically and sympathetically. Secrets and how young people may feel compelled to keep them, especially ones relating to their sexuality, love etc. is another interesting facet of Eyewitness.

The stunt work in this, especially the motorcycle-related scenes and tricks is impressive! There are also some realistic fight scenes, shootouts and effects.

The cinematography is truly excellent with a balance of the naturalistic with some stunning aerial shots etc. Visually this is very impressive. I appreciated the music score and how music was used to enhance mood and tension. The theme song “Saviour Unknown” by Sean Bartlett, Geir Bøhren and Bent Åserud is both beautiful and perfect.

There are times where suspension of disbelief is required in Eyewitness and if you cannot accept some coincidences and conveniences in a storyline then you might struggle. This does treat the viewer as an adult though, so expect to do some dot joining yourself. I was more than willing to suspend everything to continue watching. The denouement does not disappoint and the aftermath is dealt with sensitively. Overall I can recommend watching this short series if you have not already done so.


3 wins

Golden Screen, Norway (2015) Director of Photography – Drama ~ Lars Vestergaard
Golden Screen, Norway (2015) Best Cinematography TV Drama ~ Lars Vestergaard & NRK Drama
International Emmy Awards (2015) Best Performance by an Actress ~ Anneke von der Lippe


Link to “Saviour Unknown”:

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