Filed Under:

Whatever The Country, No Such Thing As 'Easy Money'

Play associated audio

Easy Money is a fine title for a film, but to truly savor the tang of this top-drawer Scandinavian thriller, try rolling its original Swedish title off your tongue. Say hello to Snabba Cash.

Director Daniel Espinosa starts his splendid crime story all in a rush, throwing us right into the middle of a trio of chaotic situations.

Introduced first is Jorge, a Chilean living in Sweden — in fact in a Swedish prison. Making his escape, Jorge promptly goes into hiding, as much from other local bad guys as from the police.

Next up is Mrado, a violent enforcer for a ruthless Serbian drug cartel that controls the cocaine traffic in Sweden and is willing to do whatever it takes to stay on top.

Though Jorge and Mrado are central to the plot, the film's protagonist is JW, compellingly played by Joel Kinnaman, who went on to star in AMC's The Killing. He's a handsome young man from a poor country family who's smart enough to have gotten a place in Stockholm's top business school.

JW wants a lifestyle he can't afford, and when fate offers him a way into the drug trade, he sees no reason to resist.

Easy Money succeeds because of Espinosa's impressive filmmaking skills; he's a master at the mechanics of motion-picture action, and he's got a facility for building tension and keeping viewers off balance. He's also got an eye for small details, as well as a gift for psychological complexity.

As the worlds of Jorge, Mrado and JW collide, recombine and collide again, and as JW's understanding of who can be counted on shifts, we in the audience are as worried and uncertain as the characters. Only one lesson holds true from start to finish: There is no such thing as easy money. (Recommended)

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Woody Allen's 'Fading Gigolo' Full Of Loneliness And Longing

In the new comedy Fading Gigolo, John Turturro plays the title character, and Woody Allen plays his pimp. This story originally broadcast on All Things Considered on April 18, 2014.
NPR

Soup to Nuts, Restaurants Smoke It All

While you won't find cigarettes in restaurants anymore, some smoking isn't banned. It's not just meat, either; it's hot to smoke just about anything edible.
WAMU 88.5

Virginia Remains At Odds With Feds On Medicaid Expansion

Lawmakers in Virginia continue to resist the $9.6 billion Medicaid expansion on offer from the federal government as part of the Affordable Care Act.

NPR

Watch For The Blind Lets You Feel Time Passing

A new watch allows the blind to feel time on their wrists. Designer Hyungsoo Kim tells NPR's Wade Goodwyn his watch allows users to tell time accurately without revealing their disabilities.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.