"Jordskott" Series Review
Written by Karin Crighton
Produced by Palladium Fiction
Directed by Anders Engström and Henrik Björn
Written by Henrik Björn, Alexander Kantsjö, Fredrik T. Olsson, and Dennis Magnusson
2015, 586 minutes, Not Rated
Moa Gammel as Eva Thörnblad
Göran Ragnerstam as Göran Wass
Richard Forsgren as Tom Aronsson
Lia Boysen as Gerda Gunnarsson
Ville Virtanen as Harry Storm
Eva Thorblad (Moa Gammel) has been searching for her missing daughter Josefine for seven years, ever since she disappeared into thin air at a riverside picnic. Grounded from police service after a traumatic injury, she finds herself in her hometown of Silverhjold just days after her father's suicide. Believing she must be in town for the funeral, she is approached by his colleagues en masse from the logging company, eager to buy her out of her inherited shares. While she attempts to settle his affairs and her own long-lost business, a child goes missing in the same manner as her own daughter. When a girl appearing to be Josefine is returned on the same night, Eva is quickly embroiled in a complicated mystery involving her father's company, missing children, murderous hitmen, mythical creatures, and promises long broken to the heart of Silverhjold.
While watching Jordskott, I started to believe that it was moving too slow; that this show was trying to stretch out eight episodes of material into 10. Then, at episode 6, when I thought that I was about to witness three successive murders by seeming good-guys I realized that the build is absolutely necessary. This series keeps its cards so close, you are guessing who's on the side of right and wrong for the entire season. And furthermore, when it closes, you have to wonder whether there is such a clear line between the two.
The cinematography is dark blue and brooding, kind of like I imagine a Swedish evening would be. The shots are long and hold tension delicately, driving the viewer mad as the truth is held off just a little bit longer. The scenery is achingly beautiful and the camera takes in perfectly framed shots of the Swedish landscape. If there wasn't so much murder, it would be a great tourism promo.
Moa Gammel is a rock as Eva. Her relentless dedication to the girl she believes is Josefine never gets hysterical despite every person of authority telling her it can't possibly be. When she bends the rules to protect the girl, it's believable that since she is willing to look beyond the realm of traditional healthcare she is the only one actually capable of helping Josefine. It's a theme mirrored with Tom Aronsson (Richard Forsgren) and his daughter Ida. Her autism keeps her from speaking but his concession to look beyond what can be seen with the naked eye is what gives him an unprecedented opportunity to communicate with her.
I can't reveal much more without delving into spoilers for this intricate web of stories, but I will take a moment to touch on the theme of promises broken. It is the underlying fable of the entire story that we humans make agreements to one another and the world we inhabit. The promises Eva's father broke as a businessman and as a father create debts that must be paid by Eva and Josefine. The damages cause a ripple effect that tears apart the town and families around the late Thornblad patriarch.
Appreciating the Scandinavian legend of living nature, Jordskott attempts to remind us we have a responsibility to the world around us in more ways than one.