movie film review | chris tookey

Bridge/ Broen, Broen (TV)

© DR - all rights reserved
  Bridge/ Broen, Broen (TV) Review
Tookey's Rating
8 /10
Average Rating
8.00 /10
Sofia Helin , Kim Bodnia , Thure Lindhardt
Full Cast >

Directed by: Henrik Georgsson, Rumle Hammerich, Charlotte Sieling, Morten Arnfred, Kathrine Windfeld, Lisa Siwe
Written by: Hans Rosenfeldt Created by Hans Rosenfeldt

Released: 2011
Genre: DRAMA
Origin: Sweden/ Denmark
Length: 0

A body, cut in half at the waist, is found in the middle of the Oresund Bridge, which links Denmark with Sweden. A rumpled, disorganized, male Danish detective has to work with a humourless, precise, female Swedish counterpart who’s borderline-autistic. They don’t get on.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

Bookmark and Share

Early on, the protagonist in The Bridge appears to be the male cop Martin Rohde, brilliantly played by Kim Bodnia (pictured right); but the more original character, despite her workaholic similarities to Sarah Lund in The Killing, is Saga Noren (exquisitely acted, for pathos and comedy, by Sofia Helin, pictured left). It is she who takes over the lead in subsequent series, and Bodnia disappears altogether at the end of series 2 (the actor was unhappy at the direction his character was taking).

The Bridge gripped and entertained from the very first episode. Among its assets were its attractive, interesting locations: Copenhagen, in Denmark, has already been well covered in The Killing; but Malmo, in Sweden, is especially distinctive - and colder, more noirish.

The theme of eco-terrorism was topical, and the observation of sexual mores was unusually frank. As with The Killing, the plot took many enjoyable twists and turns, and most episodes had a cliffhanger ending. And the rivalry between the two police forces was convincing.

For me, though, the plot of the first series was too far-fetched to suspend my disbelief. It wasn’t credible that so important a crime was left to just two people; nor was it feasible that the authorities would allow the killer to use the media as freely as he/she does. However, even in the first series, there was a riveting personality clash between the two detectives that kept me watching. I’m glad I was patient with it.

Later series were a good deal more believable; and the third was, in many ways, the most successful combination of well-structured thriller plotting with human, psychological drama. Thure Lindhardt was given an interesting and complex character to play, as Saga’s new sidekick, and he made the most of it. It also helped that the initially off-putting Saga became less of an automaton and developed some recognizably human characteristics, if only to try and “fit in”.

The Killing had more human depth than The Bridge, less of a feeling that murder is just a challenging problem to solve. But the heroine of The Bridge, with her unintentionally comic disengagement from those around her, is just as remarkable a creation as Sarah Lund. And, unlike The Killing, The Bridge sustained itself at a consistently high quality over its second and third series. A fourth is scheduled for 2018. American and Russian remakes were both called The Bridge; a British remake was called The Tunnel. None is a patch on the original.

Key to Symbols