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TV Waffle - FOLLOW THE MONEY

A disparate group of characters become entangled in the dirty dealings at an energy company.





Review by Troy Balmayer (@tbthereviewclub)



All in all, Follow the Money floats the right way up the dramatic stream of interest, if only occasionally paddling slowly in its attempt to create a fully engaging drama about finance, climate change and blackmail. Still, a worthy watch and another Nordic Noir nod of approval from me.


As the tag-line states, 'Greed is Everywhere', and this theme is shown across all 10 episodes of this Danish drama/thriller with a cool neatness, interesting character choices and that expected yet still brilliant Nordic Noir blue/grey tinge.

Rising fast at Energreen, a climate focused company mostly focused on wind power, is Claudia. She gets noticed by top dog Alexander Sondergren, who may be hiding more than a couple of secrets behind this business. Policeman Mads moves to a fraud squad wanting to prove Energreen is dirty, but his problematic personal life could overshadow his work. Nicky, a mechanic, ends up finding more than he bargained for after reverting to car crime to help finance his wife and newborn baby.


These are the three main story-lines we follow from beginning to end and, brilliantly, they wind round each other as each character and their actions helps or hinders another figure from another plot. It’s handled very well, as in it never grows confusing or irritating as we see the stories mesh together. In fact it helps keep the interest elevated and cause tension as, at times, we literally follow the money between characters.

Created by Jeppe Gjervig Gram, Anders Frithiof August and Jannik Tai Mosholt, this money orientated series from Denmark is clever and engaging enough that you want to carry on to find out answers and see what happens to most, if not all of the characters. There’s an undeniable slow start, and it takes a while for this show to settle under the skin and stick with you, but by episode three this program hits an absorbing stride. These show-runners neatly master cliffhangers with every episode ending on a 'whoa' moment that entices you into the following episode. I don’t know if there will be a second season but either way, the ending of this entire run is such an Oh My God surprise that it sums up the dark and murky world of money and business in a snappy and shocking way.


Unlike the recent watch of Trapped, this series didn’t hook me completely in. It has a disadvantage because it’s not a murder mystery, but also the writing of this show didn’t seem to strike gold; it felt samey, and through a lot of the episodes, things were dealt with in a pedestrian manner. I wish there had been more of a bubbling urgency as the fraud squad found out things; it always felt like Alexander would evade their clutches. Yet, even with this chilly weakness, by half way, everything slots together and it feels like it’s rattling towards the conclusions you want.

As with these captivating Nordic shows, there’s always an engaging, broody quality to their sound design. ‘Bedrag’, as it’s called in Denmark, is scored greatly by Tobias Wilner, who keeps up a level of suspense when needed to enhance the moodier sides of finance and cheating. His opening music is trickling with a tone of unease, and with the visuals of people submerged, it works for the series very well. Generally I loved the opening titles; the idea of drowning with lies and fraud comes across with the cold imagery of characters surrounded by water.


Nikolaj Lie Kaas is mysterious and charming as the man up top, his aptitude for performing the easy likable guy mixing greatly with his steely reserve and possibly dangerous, tricksy thoughts. Natalie Madueno is great as the only true main female character, her idealistic ways and youthful naivete of working hard are performed honestly as she finds herself struggling under the weight of Energreen’s lies and her hope to do the best for her son Bertram. Thomas Bo Larsen brings a suitable heft as the investigatory figure, but isn’t always grit and frowns; he manages to have fun and some light moments as Mads also. Ebsen Smed Jensen as Nicky is a believable lout with a heart of gold and showcases getting caught up in trouble with convincing worry. Also he teams up with Lucas Hansen as Bimse for the much needed comedic double act moments. I must quickly mention Thomas Hwan as Alf and Claes Ljungmark as P, who both stood out for me in their portrayal of two very different but very interesting characters.

All in all, Follow the Money floats the right way up the dramatic stream of interest, if only occasionally paddling slowly in its attempt to create a fully engaging drama about finance, climate change and blackmail. Still, a worthy watch and another Nordic Noir nod of approval from me.


Follow the Money is released on DVD & Blu-Ray on Monday 25th April by Nordic Noir & Beyond.

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