The Chestnut Man Review- An Underrated Old School Thriller
My wait for a slowly built chilling thriller minus the unnecessary dramatic moments was over with the Danish show the Chestnut Man. This is an old school thriller where the creator invests much time in developing the plot, building the characters and creating a milieu of suspense, ever mounting tension and finally a gripping climax.
The problem with Netflix is that many poorly made, unworthy shoes get undue attention because of tricky marketing strategies whereas some gems remain underrated as they do not conform to the cheeky ambush marketing strategies. The Chestnut Man originally titled Kastanjemanden falls in the second category.
Originally written by Soren Sveistrup, set in the quiet suburbs of Copenhagen, this is a story of a serial killer spanned across three decades. After a violent prelude, the story begins with the gruesome murder of a young mother. Her hands are chopped off and a chestnut man is found beside the corpse. Detective Naia Thulin, herself going through turmoil in life is assigned the task of solving the case. Soon another murder of the same category follows and the mystery gets convoluted. More interestingly, after every murder, a chestnut man is found beside the corpse. The plot gets a twist as the detective and her new partner Hess find a mysterious connection between the serial killings and the sudden disappearance of the daughter of Minister Rosa Hartung. What follows is a classical style of whodunit moviemaking with numerous twists, turnarounds, dejection and redemption.
Danica Crucic as Naia Thulin is brilliant as the workaholic detective who is finding it difficult to strike a balance between her professional and personal commitments. Iben Dorner as the grieving mother and the Minister of the Danish Government is restrained in essaying the emotions the role demanded. But to me, the real star of the show is Mikkel Boe Folsgaard as the Europol veteran Mark Hess. He is superb as the man who wants to make amends for his personal losses through his professional redemption. I am all set to watch his other movies or shows. Other actors, too justify their roles.
The primal aspect of this brilliantly made thriller is its stunning visual appeal. The cinematography is bleak, chilling and somber true to the undertone of the show. The music too goes along well with the theme. Be warned, this is a gruesome tale of serial killings and there are plenty of gore, violence and brutal murders. The entire show is wrapped up in six episodes each lasting slightly below one hour and there is a hint of a second season towards the end. One aspect I liked is its denial to end an episode with a question to force you to binge-watch it, a common flaw almost all the shows these days suffer from.
Overall, this is a very good thriller with utmost attention to the minute details and if you are a lover of the genre and love the way good ol’ thrillers were made, this is just the right show for you. Go for it.
My Rating – 8.5
Available on- Netflix