Partisan Season 2: A Spoiler Review

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Poster for season 2 of Partisan

🇸🇪 PARTISAN SEASON 2 🇸🇪

Partisan season 2 is a Swedish crime/drama/thriller available on All4 Walter Presents and Viaplay in the U.K. In Swedish, Polish and English with embedded English subtitles. Rated Guidance U.K.

Premise:


“Set in the idyllic surroundings of Jordnära, a gated community that runs a very successful organic farm. A man takes a job offer, soon learning about their unorthodox rules and routines.” IMDb for season 1

Cast:


Anna Björk as Maud
Nanna Blondell as Mildred
Aaron Staton as Robert
Kim Sulocki as Björn
Thomas Holmin as Magnus
Linus Wahlgren as Richard
Vala Noren as Young Maud
Jens Hultén as Bengt
Julia Heveus as Valeria
Andreas Kundler as Sakarias
Pelle Holmström as Victor
Emelie Garbers as Susanne
Tora Sandström as Gun
Kola Krauze as Piotr
Rafael Pettersson as Mateusz

Crew:


Idea: Mauricio Molinari
Writers: Amir Chamdin, Sebastian Johansson, Francesca Maraki, Pauline Wolff
Director: Amir Chamdin
Composer: Amir Chamdin
Cinematographer: Mårten Tedin
Editor: Björn Lindgren
Casting Director: Sara Törnkvist
Production Designer: Pia Wallin
Costume Designer: Sanna Nyström

⚠️ This review contains spoilers ⚠️

Review:

I did have issues with season 1 of Partisan when I watched it (see the link to my review at the bottom of this one). However, I was willing to give season 2 a chance, partly based on the cast but also because there were things in season 1 that I liked.

I really liked all the acting in this. Everyone, young and old, did a great job.

Any issues I have with Partisan remain with aspects of the story and character development because, as with season 1, there were parts which made me eye roll or wince (fewer than in season 1 though). And there are aspects of this season that I did like a lot.

How the gym coach gets caught came over as rather weak. Perhaps if they had been told something suspicious about him before but… why exactly is riding a bike in front of a window so suspicious anyway?

I felt it was all a bit obvious about the cop collaborating with Jordnära so the big reveal didn’t totally work for me. And there’s a downright weird conversation later. Did the cop have to say that? Could he not have covered it differently? All a bit bizarre.

The handler feels too peripheral somehow for quite a lot of this but I liked the way he was played. I would have loved to know a bit more about him. His discovery of the body in the boot did, however, raise all sorts of issues in my mind as to the competence of any forensic unit inspecting a burnt-out car containing another body!

I wasn’t too sure that the mother and 2 daughters storyline adds very much. What did actually happen about Valeria’s murder? And the dad getting whacked on the head? It all feels a bit peripheral and messy. I also found it tricky to grasp what was and what wasn’t a flashback (this isn’t usually the case for me when I watch a film or show). So perhaps more of a visual or aural cue would have been good.

I liked the way the father was written and played. He’s creepy and dangerous and psychopathic.

Clear parallels run between Mildred trying to get pregnant and the artificial insemination/rape storyline. The whole visit from the other group from abroad is seriously creepy. In fact, a lot about this show is seriously creepy. In essence, this is all human trafficking.

There are parallels between parasites, viruses and the eugenics being practised at Jordnärna which are cleverly done, albeit a little heavy-handed at times. The expulsion scene did seem rather sudden and out of the blue.

The water… the source of the contamination and ultimately the discovery of the dead body of Johnny.

For Björn’s character arc which is important this season, I would have liked us to have known in advance the leverage that was used on him and seen more fraying around the edges before his final, somewhat catastrophic actions. As it is these felt more shocking than understandable. It would have also upped the ante when Mildred decides to have her strangely timed challenging conversation with him in the car. I think this would have allowed for increased dramatic irony and a greater feeling of jeopardy (as distinct from stupidity).

One of the tropes I dislike in films and shows is when those in pursuit call out the name of the person they are hunting; who in their right mind would ever call out “I’m here!” in anticipation of being captured or shot or both?

I very much liked the use of music in season 2 of Partisan, both the original atmospheric score and the soundtrack. To pick just one song that was used well it would have to be “Some Velvet Morning”
Song by Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra.

Alongside the music, it is the direction and cinematic choices throughout that impressed me. Many scenes are beautiful to look at, with saturated colours and a sometimes surreal, dreamlike effect. I especially liked the gymnastic routine near the very end.

Overall then I preferred this season over season 1 and I don’t begrudge the time I spent watching it.

Trailer (no subtitles):

Link to a spoiler review of season 1:

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