🇩🇰 DNA SEASON 2 🇩🇰
DNA (2019-) is a Danish crime-drama-mystery-thriller available on BBC iPlayer in the U.K., Viaplay US & Canada (US Roku, Canada Gem, just Season 1, SBS On Demand Australia).
This is a review for Season 2 (2023) of DNA which has 6 episodes of approximately 45 minutes in length. Rated Guidance U.K. for content. In Danish, Romanian, French and English with embedded subtitles.
Premise Season 2:
“This time around, the story revolves around his ex-wife, who gives birth to a baby girl with liver issues and Larsen gets involved in searching for an organ donor. His search leads him and his colleague, Neel, to make a gruesome discovery.” The Killing Times
Anders W. Berthelsen as Rolf Larsen
Zofia Wichlacz as Julita
Olivia Joof Lewerissa as Neel
Johanne Louise Schmidt as Marie Larsen
Sigurd Holmen le Dous as Stahl
Charlotte Rampling as Claire Bobin
Lars Berge as Thorstein
Mario Montescu as Mario Zaharia
Serban Pavlu as Lazâr
Afshin Firouzi as Hooman Møller
Theodora Sandu as Nicoleta Zaharia
Writer: Torleif Hoppe
Director: Fabian Wullenweber
Composers: Jacob Groth, Halfdan E
Cinematographer: Niels Reedtz Johansen
Editors: Steen Schapiro, Adam Páez de la Cadena Ljoså, Dan Loghin, Mads Michael Olsen
⚠️ May contain spoilers ⚠️
For this review, I’ve assumed that readers have watched Season 1 of this series. If you haven’t then beware that this may contain what could be seen as spoilers for the first season.
Since I watched DNA’s first season straight before this one I had no trouble remembering the key parts of the story, and characters, that continue onto the second season.
The main thread that continues into season 2 is that of Rolf and his daughter. His now ex-wife’s daughter too, but she is unaware of the fact that the little girl is alive and well and living in France with Julita. While it may seem incomprehensible to some as to why Rolf did not take steps to get his daughter back at the end of season 1, for his character and experience it makes perfect sense. He witnessed the effects of a lost daughter being reunited with her birth mother in the first season. This season sees him taking steps to have more regular (unwitting) contact with her, initially disguising it as fishing trips. That is until he is forced to reveal more by Julita’s actions.
This part of the story continues to wind its way through to the very end, with a satisfactory and grown-up conclusion for all concerned. What is great here is that all the adults put what is best for the child first. A theme that pervaded the first season.
Turning our attention now though to the main thrust of season 2 which, while it still involves trafficking is of a different kind. No cute babies and Northern European mothers this time… This season the spotlight falls upon Eastern European and Vietnamese trafficking, at least that’s where the trafficking starts but it’s very clear that it’s also completely driven by demands from certain quarters in Northern Europe. The trafficking is facilitated through France to Denmark, not only the Balkans and Germany. Why people might also reach out to illegal (or at the very least legally and ethically dubious) sources of organs was also well handled and felt organic to the story.
It’s both fascinating and horrifying to see how people, mostly young, very young, people are sold a dream. This dream is sold at an extremely high price both literally and figuratively. As we see right near the start it costs lives, lives of people who paid a fortune to get to greener pastures. The sex trade, organ harvesting, servitude on building sites and factories… all these and more.
What was done very well this season were the reasons why people get trafficked and how others, not necessarily bad people, get involved in the trafficking itself.
Debt is mentioned a few times and it’s the “debt” to traffickers that drives the issues that characters like Mario and his sister Nicoleta have. There are some deeply despicable characters in this, of all shades and hues.
I thought it was clever to use the abduction of Julita to emphasise the methods these men use, and because she’s the same sort of victim as these other women and men; there is, substantially, no difference between her and someone like Nicoleta who is also a victim.
Throughout this season I was, once again, impressed by the direction, cinematography and, most especially the music. The performances were excellent and whilst Charlotte Rampling may seem a little underutilised I still found her character to be both pivotal and able to cut through the undergrowth to shed a crystal clear light upon fundamental truths. Plus it’s great to see a more mature character facing their own challenges (retirement) and yet firmly grasping the need to do something that matters.
The ending of the story of Mario and his sister did seem a little rushed and anticlimactic. I would have liked a more emotional reunion between them both and then their parting, whereas it petered out too quickly and felt flat.
The ending for the other story was a good balance for what has been a reasonably dark series throughout, being uplifting, light and positive.
Overall then, I can recommend DNA Season 2 as being worth watching and one that, certainly in this season, might challenge some prejudices and assumptions.
Trailer (no subtitles):
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