Directed by: Tomas Alfredson
Based on the Book by: Jo Nesbø
Screenplay by: Hossein Amini and Peter Straughan
Produced by: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Piodor Gustafsson, Robyn Slovo,
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg with Val Kilmer and J. K. Simmons.
Waking up from another bender, lead detective, Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender), needs a case to distract him from drinking.
When he receives a disturbing letter signed-off with a picture of a snowman, he may have found the case. And as the film continues and the bodies pile up, Harry’s eyes become clearer.
Based on Jo Nesbø’s global bestseller, the attempt to condense, ‘The Snowman’ into a film was not entirely successful.
The inclusion of so many characters, like Rafto (Val Kilmer), another disgraced drunken detective and Mathias (Jonas Karlsson) a detective thrown in the mix for reasons unknown led to time wasting red herrings.
Which is a pity because the main storyline was good.
But without the depth of character given in the novel, a lot of time was spent scratching my head asking, Why?
An avid fan of the Jo Nesbø novels, I was excited to see his story come to life on the big screen. And Michael Fassbender suited the role of Harry, if not better looking and smaller than imagined from the text – he was a sincere brute, playing the damaged, complicated man perfectly.
I also liked Rebecca Ferguson as the junior recruit, Katrine Bratt.
However, the rest of the cast felt superficial with so many and so little backstory.
The English language used, instead of the novel’s original Norwegian, followed on like the book being translated, so I didn’t mind as that’s how I read the book. Another successful example being the English version of Wallander: set in the original series’ native Ystad, Sweden, yet the characters speaking in English.
The setting of The Snowman was filmed entirely in Norway with the snow falling and the vast landscape keeping the feel from the novel authentic.
Director Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) has used that feeling of vast space and isolation to build the creepy feeling of The Snowman watching. But that’s as creepy as the film gets.
The Snowman didn’t live up to expectation because the momentum and therefore suspense was lost by trying to fit too much in.
I liked Fassbender as Harry, the setting was beautifully captured, and the story was good. But could have been much better with a more focussed plot.