🇫🇮 ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE 🇫🇮
Enemy of the People (2022) is a Finnish drama-thriller available on Walter Presents C4 U.K., MHz Choice US, and SBS On Demand Australia. It has 8 episodes of 42-44 minutes. Rated Guidance for content. In Finnish, Swedish, Catalan and English with embedded English subtitles.
“Journalist calls down the wrath of her readers by trying to uncover the connection between the murder of a local football hero and a cryptocurrency. Searching for the truth she risks not only her reputation, but her life.” IMDb
Kreeta Salminen as Katja Salonen
Raül Tortosa as Jordi Diaz
Tobias Zilliacus as Pekka Välimaa
Johannes Holopainen as Sami Harju
Antti Luusuaniemi as Kristian Laine
Milka Ahlroth as Soili Nylund
Mikko Nousiainen as Juha Leinonen
Hennariikka Laaksola as Sini Eriksson
Writers: Laura Suhonen, Timo Varpio
Director: Mikko Kuparinen
Cinematographer: Mikael Gustafsson
Editors: Pekka Lehtikangas, Mikko Sippola
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
This is the second Finnish series I have watched in recent weeks, the other being Mobile 101 which I did enjoy. By sheer coincidence, while I was watching Enemy of the People I was also watching another series about investigative journalism set the other side of the world. Luckily they were different enough from each other that I didn’t get confused but the difference in approach was an interesting one.
There was a lot that I enjoyed and liked about Enemy of the People and it is with these positives I would like to start this review.
Firstly, for me, the casting was very good and I couldn’t fault any of the acting throughout. This applies to Finnish, Spanish and Swedish cast. Kreeta Salminen was excellent in the lead role.
It made a refreshing change to watch a Nordic series that used more than its home country for a fair bit of the story. I wouldn’t have minded (being a bit greedy) a few more views of Barcelona.
Most of the Finnish characters were well-drawn and had depth. I liked the yoga instructor and her, frankly “well dodgy” husband. The main antagonist (he who murders) is nicely psychopathic but in that suited and booted so respectable way. Still a psychopath though…
Our protagonist, the determined, stubborn and ever so slightly rude investigative journalist Katja is interesting. I must say that I think she (any journalist, male or female) may have achieved more, more quickly, with some people had she not been quite so “challenging” and more manipulative.
Her colleague, Sami, was interestingly written and I liked the humour that he added to the scenes, especially nearer the start of the story.
This story had some good twists and turns, not so much the whodunnit (we find that out very early on) but the complexity of the fraud and who is being defrauded. It was also clever how we aren’t sure who is or is not to be trusted on the “team”.
There are characters I would have liked to have seen developed more, the Spanish cop being one of them. The football link for the Finnish cop did feel a bit “written just to make him a bit more interesting”.
I did have some other issues with this series. Firstly, for what is covered I’m not sure that 6 episodes wouldn’t have tightened it all and made it work better.
Secondly, and this was a bigger one for me was that I just wasn’t sold on the adulterous affair storyline, at all. It really negatively affected my view and empathy for both the characters involved. Are we supposed to think it was romantic? For me, it clearly wasn’t and just made them both look at the very least selfish, immature and foolhardy. This is a betrayal. When news and social media got involved again it seemed to me highly unlikely that journalists in their situation would have been so naive as to meet like that. I can see that as a plot device it worked but perhaps using innocent but easily misconstrued contact would have worked far better. That would have made the reporting and social media reaction far from having any justification and maintaining our sympathy for these characters.
Flashbacks: I would have preferred had these been more clearly cued in some way, either visually or with sound or both.
I felt that the finale was slightly rushed which, given the time allotted to the whole story, is a bit strange.
At this point, I want to make an appeal to any screenwriters, or future screenwriters, who may be reading this… Please, please, PLEASE, for the love of God, STOP using mobile phones running out of power as a plot device!! Especially for someone who is a trained journalist who would just never let that happen. Do we not have charging points in cars to plug our phones into or a PowerMonkey (other makes are available)? Just get your character to accidentally drop their phone down the toilet or drop it somehow so it smashes. All the things that many of us have done that have resulted in us killing our mobile phones. Use your imagination…
Those criticisms might make it sound as if I hated this series, I didn’t, however, they did impinge upon my enjoyment (and made me eye roll). It’s reasonably twisty, has very good acting and a satisfactory denouement.
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