Review: The Norwegian crime thriller Hodejegerne — which translates to Headhunters in English — is such a clever film that it probably should be watched twice, if only to appreciate how almost every scene has a reason for being, and how everything that happens just before the end gets neatly tied together at the end.
Aksel Hennie stars as Roger Brown, a corporate executive recruiter and apparently a very successful one. Just not as successful as his high end lifestyle demands. To augment his income, he steals artwork from his clients, but is careful to replace what he's taken with an excellent copy. When the opportunity to steal an exceptionally rare piece becomes available, he takes advantage of it. But everything goes wrong almost from the very beginning, and the more desperate Roger gets to scramble out of the mess he's in, the deeper in he gets.
I very much enjoyed Headhunters from almost every perspective. The actors seem spot on for their roles, it is filmed in a clean, no-nonsense manner, and with one small exception, the storyline is easy to follow. Deceptively easy, as you don't quite realize how really complicated it all is until the end. The exception relates directly to Roger's current assignment, recruiting a managing director (or president) for a high-tech company. I readily admit I may have missed something along the way here, and it certainly didn't diminish my enjoyment of the film, but I didn't quite follow what was going on with Clas Greve's character, who owns the painting that Roger has stolen. Maybe I should have watched the film a third time!
I haven't read the book from which this film was adapted, but I'll likely remedy that soon. In the meantime, I highly recommend Headhunters. It's a very smart, very entertaining film.