The Friday Favourite, our review of a show worthy of a weekend binge, and this week in the spotlight is……
Before We Die, the Swedish crime drama on Walter Presents. For our Swedish week we are dipping into the archives and reminding people how good this show is. One of the best Swedish dramas we’ve seen in the UK so far and one of the very best world dramas of 2018 in any language.
After her colleague and lover Sven disappears, Hanna Svensson (Marie Richardson) takes over text message contact with an undercover asset he had placed in a criminal organisation. As well as the desperate search to find Sven (Johan Hedenberg) we follow the undercover operative, the crime family he has infiltrated and also find out more about Hanna’s own family as well as plenty of her police colleagues. If I had to pick a standout character in this show it would have to be crime boss Davor Mimica – played wonderfully by Alexej Manvelov – a villain you can’t help but like at times. The acting of all three of the main leads – you can add Adam Pålsson to the list of names already mentioned – is universally excellent though and there is also a strong crop of supporting characters that you’ll grow to love or hate, sometimes both, during the course of the 10 episodes.
As well as having well written and complex characters this show is also plotted extremely well. There is an incredible amount of suspense – your nails will be well and truly bitten at times – and plenty of surprises as the story goes along. It also all hangs together really well once you’ve seen all 10 episodes, which to me is another sign of a really good drama.
If you’ve been disappointed in one or two recent offerings (I’ll not name names) this is a Scandi noir series that really should restore your faith in the quality of Scandinavian drama. A series not to be missed – 9.5/10.
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