IN ORDER OF DISAPPEARANCE (Kraftidioten) (Norway/Sweden/Denmark 2014) ****

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in_order_of_disappearanceIN ORDER OF DISAPPEARANCE (Kraftidioten) (Norway/Sweden/Denmark 2014) ****
Directed by Hans Petter Moland

Review by Gilbert Seah

Can an ordinary man kill a drug lord? The answer is ‘yes’, if he is pushed beyond the limit, as this awesome Norwegian film attempts to prove, in a very violent, way.

Nils (Stellan Skarsgård) is a snow plough driver somewhere in Norway. He learns that his son, Ingvar has died, supposedly of a heroin overdose. Nils knows his son was no addict (his wife believes otherwise, though) and starts his own personal private investigation after his beaten up son’s friend confesses to Nils that his son was unknowingly involved in a drug delivery. Soon Nils finds out the local drug lord, known as ‘The Count’ (Pal Sverre Hagen) is behind the crime. He hunts down the two killers and kills both of them, but not before they confess. Based on this information, he goes after their boss, the Count, but finds himself in the crossfire between two rival gangs: one local, the Count and the one “imported” called Papa (Bruno Ganz) from Serbia.

The film contains more observational nuances than the normal action thriller that makes the story more interesting. An example is the scene of Nils asking his wife whether she knows where he had been. Nils is just proud that he had just disposed of one of the men in the chain that caused the death of their son. His wife just looks on nonchalantly.
The film plays like DIRTY HARRY with Skarsgard in the Clint Eastwood role. When the cops are useless and provide no answers into the truth of the son’s death, Nils takes matters into his own hands. The script proves the adage that a man will murder to protect his family.

The Norwegian landscape is used effectively. The film has repeated scenes of a body rolled up in chicken wire and tossed over the grand falls. Nils is also the champion of a huge snowblower that clears the roads of ice and snow. The wintry atmosphere adds to the bleakness of Nil’s situation.

The villain of the piece, the Count is also set up to be a ruthless father. The film spends again more time that the average action thriller on the villain. While showing him to be a ruthless maniac, he is also shown to be a father who wants the best for his son. He tells his bullied son to beat up the bully. He intimidates his driver for not fixing 5 organic fruits in his son’s lunch box and then warns him against talking business (he tells the boss that a worker has gone missing, the one who has just been killed by Nils). The encounters between him and his ex makes the funniest parts. Director Moland is expert in the creation of these wickedly devilish yet violent set-ups.
Skarsgard makes the unlikely but believable hero. He is comfortable in the role and it shows, having worked with director Moland in two other notable films ABERDEEN and ZERO KELVIN, also worthwhile films to catch.
The film is extremely violent. Those who love graphic violence as in horror films are in for a real treat. The humour is very black. For example the sign to the small town where Nils lives, “Welcome to Tycos” is shown half a dozen times as Nils drives in and out of the town to do his nasty business.

IN ORDER OF DISAPPEARANCE is a film that proves that a well-worn story of revenge can still be made intriguing given a little inventiveness even if it comes with a bit of nastiness. This film is my personal favourite of the year!



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Died Today (August 23rd) – Rudolph Valentino (1895–1926)

rudolphvalentino.jpgRudolph Valentino (1895–1926)

Born: May 6, 1895 in Castellaneta, Puglia, Italy
Died: August 23, 1926 (age 31) in Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA

A few months before Valentino’s death, a Chicago newspaper columnist attacked his masculinity in print, referring to him as a “pink powder puff”. A lawsuit was pending when Valentino was fatally stricken. One of his last questions to his doctor was, “Well, doctor, and do I now act like a ‘pink powder puff’?” His doctor reportedly replied, “No, sir. You have been very brave. Braver than most.”.

[after his divorce from Jean Acker] She said she was my soul mate, but she proved to be my check-mate!

Happy Birthday: Jay Mohr

jaymohr.jpgJay Mohr

Born: August 23, 1970 in Verona, New Jersey, USA

Married to:
Nikki Cox (29 December 2006 – present) (1 child)
Nicole Chamberlain (1 November 1998 – 4 January 2005) (divorced) (1 child)

(Expressing his displeasure about not getting enough screen time on Saturday Night Live (1975)): “All that waiting around for a glimmer of stage time, just getting angry every week…It was just an oppressive, horrible, horrible place to be. I went to work feeling nauseous”.

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Vera Miles

Born: August 23, 1929 in Boise City, Oklahoma, USA

Arguably best known for playing Marion Crane’s sister in Psycho (1960), a part later played by Julianne Moore. Miles also appeared in the premiere episode of The Fugitive, which was also later turned in a film with Moore.

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rickspringfield.jpgRick Springfield

Born: August 23, 1949 in Guildford, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Married to: Barbara Porter (27 October 1984 – present) (2 children)

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Happy Birthday: Gene Kelly (1912–1996)

genekelly.jpgGene Kelly (1912–1996)

Born: August 23, 1912 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Died: February 2, 1996 (age 83) in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA

Married to:
Patricia Ward Kelly (20 July 1990 – 2 February 1996) (his death)
Jeanne Coyne (6 August 1960 – 10 May 1973) (her death) (2 children)
Betsy Blair (22 September 1941 – 3 April 1957) (divorced) (1 child)

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