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The Lawyer / Advokaten

With The Bridge now over, a new Swedish crime series hopes to fulfil its shoes. Created by Hans Rosenfeldt, the man behind The Bridge, The Lawyer similarly balances its plot between Sweden and Denmark as the successful and charming lawyer Frank tries to investigate his parents’ mysterious death. However, despite the intriguing premise, by the end of the second episode the plot feels lacking, and not particularly gripping.

When he was a young boy, Frank witnessed the murder of his parents, and along with his sister Sarah he has never gotten over the loss. In the present day, Sarah is a police officer struggling with a substance addition and is obsessively searching for any clues into her parents’ mysterious murder. Frank, on the other hand, is a successful lawyer who seems happy on the outside but is trying hard to suppress what happened. The plot picks up when Frank learns that a Danish underworld leader who has hired one of the best lawyers in Copenhagen may be behind his parents’ death. Lucky for Frank, he has just been offered a job at this fancy new law firm, and takes it in the hopes of getting close to finding what happens to his parents.

The script struggles to stick with this premise, and none of the characters feel properly developed. Sarah is the only female character with a voice in the series, and she is also the only character struggling with addiction and personal issues to the point that she is mentally broken. Furthermore, the choices she makes are lacking any amount of sense, particularly surprising because she is a police officer. She stumbles her way through investigative work, easily gets herself discovered, and seems to cry for help to her brother way too often. Frank, on the other hand, comes across as unlikable, and the plot really forces him into a position where he can do his own investigative work. The fact that he is able to land a job at the suspicious law firm and dig through all their files all within the first episode highlights the laziness in the script. The fact that the script takes place between Sweden and Denmark is unnecessary, and seems to be trying too hard to imitate previous series.

The Lawyer has just had its premiere in Sweden, and there’s not much indication on an international release. Everyone is looking for The Bridge 2.0, but The Lawyer will struggle to wow audiences.

This review is in the March issue of Cinema Scandinavia. 

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Information

  • Directed by David Berron, Geir Henning Hopland
  • Written by Oliver Dixon, Karin Gidfors, Alex Haridi & Maria Karlsson
  • Starring Alexander Karim, Malin Buska (The Girl King), Thomas Bo Larsen (The Hunt), Nicolaj Kopernikus (The Killing), Johannes Lassen, Sara Hjort Ditlevsen

 

Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.