From the current issue of Clash.
With all things Nordic noir in vogue at present, Norwegian author Jo Nesbo finds himself beloved of book clubs everywhere and in demand for cinematic adaptations of his work. Indeed, Martin Scorsese is lined up to direct a version on Nesbo’s novel The Snowman.
His first novel to be adapted for the screen, Headhunters sounds exactly like a routine thriller. Corporate headhunter Roger lives a glorious materialistic life with a beautiful wife who’s clearly attracted to his wealth rather than his lack of height and mousy hair. Roger’s problem is that his earnings can’t fund his lifestyle, so he lives a secret second life as an art thief. And guess what? One final risky job will solve his problems…
None of which really hints at how bizarrely executed this adaptation is. Stylishly shot and rapidly pulling twists, its initial corporate satire (think Norwegian Psycho with Christian Bale’s Bateman replaced by a “successful” loser) gives way to a sense of humour pitched somewhere between black and just plain ridiculous as Roger’s luck descends in ever decreasing circles.
If Headhunters could live up to its audacious individualism, it would be something truly special. As it stands, its inconsistencies don’t quite gel.