Yesterday I was sitting around thinking, “Do I really want to see a Norwegian/Danish film?” also, “Am I so terribly English-language-centric that I don’t want to see a film merely because it is in Norwegian and Danish?” Then I looked it up on Rotten Tomatoes, and it was at 97% positive ratings, which got my butt into the car toute suite!
And thank you, Rotten Tomatoes, because this movie is unmissable!
Headhunters, or Hodejegerne in its original title, is about Roger Brown, a headhunter for a company that places executives and CEOs in big companies, but on the side he is an art thief. He has a gorgeous wife, a house he can’t afford, he lives way beyond his means behind the facade of calm and wealth. He is also 1.68 metres (5’5″ for those who don’t speak metric), and, as he says, you don’t need a psychiatrist to say that he might just be compensating.
Roger uses his position interviewing excutives to find out if they own art, if they have kids, or a wife, or a dog who might be home during the day, and when he comes upon a likely prospect, with the aid of his partner, who works at an alarm company, he breaks into the home and replaces the artwork with a copy. Then he blows his take on a gift for his wife, whom he thinks won’t love him without expensive presents, though what she really wants is a baby.
Roger is living on the edge of having the whole house of cards tumble down, when he meets an ex-mercenary and current executive who happens to own a lost Rubens stolen by the Nazis and given to his aunt during the war. This piece of art will set Roger up for life, but it turns out that there is a lot more going on that Roger realizes, and he just may have messed with the wrong person.
This movie is the heist movie to end all heist movies, there are twists, there are turns, there is an ending that I had to explain to my mother, and Roger goes through the most spectacular degradation that I have seen in a film in a while, but (no spoilers) he does learn a few pretty big lessons through all of this, one of which is that a man whose job it is to read people can end up counting on that skill when the chips are down.
Why are you still reading this? Go see this movie! Did you not notice the word “unmissable” above? It asn’t an exaggeration!