Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Case Season 1 Netflix Series Review

Case (2015-)
Season 1 - 9 Episodes (2015-Iceland/2016-Netflix)
Case - Season 1
Watch Case Season 1 on Netflix 
Written by: Þorleifur Örn Arnarsson, Andri Óttarsson
Directed by: Baldvin Zophoníasson
Starring: Magnús Jónsson, Steinunn Ólína Þorsteinsdóttir, Jóhanna Vigdís Arnardóttir
Rated: TV-MA/R

Plot
In this Netflix original Icelandic language series, a self destructive lawyer and a police detective begin investigating a teenager's death, but don't quit when the case is ruled a suicide.

Verdict
The murder/suicide is the heart of this series, with suspects building from there. Having to read subtitles can be off putting, but as the mystery slowly grew, I began to mind less. I wanted to know what happened. Ultimately I'm not sure it was worth it.  It's incredibly depressing as it deals with underage kids and rape. This show is twisted in a completely unsettling way.
I had hoped this series would solve the case in a single season, and thankfully it does do that.
The story has the usual twists, turns, and fake outs, but the only thing that sets this apart is the depravity of the characters.  It's a bit too much twisted soap opera with a collection of morally gray people, all of them committing some kind of crime. If you want to learn Icelandic or want to watch something soul crushing, Case might be the incredibly depressing series you've been seeking.
Skip it.

Review
Case is relentlessly bleak. It just gets worse as the season continues. It's dark, twisted, and horrible. It's an average story, but it's the depravity of every character that will make you realize after the final episode that you didn't really need to see this. This is a series never really meant for English speaking audiences. While you can deduce the translation, there is a lot of printed text that isn't translated in newspapers and other media.

This is a spin-off to Icelandic series Réttur (2009-2010) which featured two of the same characters, Logi and BrynhilderLogi was an ex-convict that started a law firm, operating on the gray side of the law. This seems to be the aftermath of that series. This show does make a reference to Logi being a lawyer and his firm failing.

While the murder starts the plot, there are a number of criminals portrayed in the series. This is a dark show that includes prostitution, statutory rape, child exploitation, and voyeurism. That's just in the first few episodes. The show plays a game of 'you thought that guy was bad, just wait until we introduce the next character.' While the investigation of the suicide is solved, it's anything but a happy ending, and a teaser for season two looks to be more of the same.
Episode 1 - The adoptive parents.
Despite all indications of  Lara's suicide Detective Gabriela doesn't believe it. The first episode gives us a lot of suspects. The victim's biological parents abused her which is why she was taken away. They've hired investigators, Logi and Iluna, to look into the adoptive parents. The adoptive parents include her overbearing mom who seems crazy, and the father, Jonas, who is embezzling money.

A youth counselor, Julius, coaxes his underage girlfriend Elfa to lie to the cops about where her best friend Lara was that night, and the final scene of episode one is Julius burning Lara's clothes.

In true mystery series form, none of these people remain suspects very long as new and worse suspects pop up. This season ramps up the mystery until we finally begin getting answers in episode six. Until then it will keep you guessing with strong hints that the father could be involved, or Lara's boyfriend, or her dance instructor or... you get the idea.
Episode 9 - Logi
It turns out Logi is a former lawyer. The cops and lawyers for Lara's parents are using him as an investigator, and also funneling him information. We see how unhinged he is in the second episode when he breaks into the adoptive parent's house looking for evidence. I don't know why this case means so much to him.
It turns out Julius works as a youth counselor to lure girls back to his house and make videos without their consent. He's a character you hope gets beaten up all the way to his cell. Gabriela deduces that Lara must have figured out what Julius was doing. Being only the second episode, you'd be right in suspecting that Julius has nothing to do with it.
Episode 4 - Elfa Dogge
Of course Julius says that Lara met her boyfriend Egill. Egill sends Logi to Elfa. While the show doesn't address this it had to be incredibly awkward for Elfa to watch the video of her and Julius with Logi. She's under age, he's middle aged, they just met, and they watch this video together. It would be humorous if this series wasn't so depressing. Just to make it worse, Elfa attempts suicide.
At the close of episode three we have a lot of suspects but are no closer to the answers. We're introduced to Lara's sister Hanna and a character I referred to as sleaze bag until I finally learned his name, turns out he's Þór. That's pronounced Thor.

Episode four provides strong indications that Lara's adoptive dad Jonas is involved. Obviously this is a red herring, but you won't find out what's really going on with Jonas until episode eight.
This show is a tangled web of deceit. Þór is trying to buy information to blackmail Jonas from Iluna, or as I called her hacker girl. Þór drugs Logi and coerces him to have sex with Hanna to force Iluna to sell the info in retaliation.
At this point Þór looks like the main suspect as he has pictures of Lara and Hanna.

Episode five presents a new suspect. Lara's dance teacher Benedetto forces the dancers to take drugs and locks them in a secluded basement room when they don't comply. Benedetto bullies a dancer in front of the class and incites her peers to lock her in the basement. While he's bad, he isn't a killer.
Episode 6 - Gabriela gets caught leaking case files to Logi
In episode six Þór is back to being the main suspect. He befriends girls, gets them addicted to drugs, then sells them. Þór tells Logi that he didn't kill Lara, it was someone else that hired him to acquire girls. Finally in episode six we have answers. We discover who the real bad guy is, which the show rubs in our faces just how disgusting this guy is.

Logi becomes a suspect for a new murder because things just weren't convoluted enough. His lawyer is the real bad guy, but Logi doesn't know it yet. We get a story from the real big bad that makes you question whether he really is bad, but don't doubt. The dude is despicable.
Jonas gets kidnapped and tortured in a horribly brutal scene. Did the writers sit in a room and brainstorm how to make the most sick and twisted show?
Episode 6 - Þór (sounds like Thor)
Episode eight is the big reveal. Logi knows who the real culprit is, but how does he get justice? This goes off the rails, with half the cast ending up in the hospital.
Jonas finds a girl, I don't know how, and shows up to her door, covered in blood. He wants to know about the abuses Þór inflicted on her. I can't fathom why this girl doesn't find any part of that strange. She tells him everything.

Logi goes for broke in a gambit for vigilante justice to conclude the season.

10 comments :

  1. Yes, this show is very graphic and the plot is very dark and twisted. Having grown up with strong religious convictions, I normally don't watch movies like this, because of the sex and nudity that they contain. If you are able to overlook all that, then this series will take you on a ride of your life. This series takes place in Iceland, so it is subtitled in English, which I didn't mind in the least bit, because it put me on the edge of my seat all the way through. I couldn't believe all the twists and turns that unraveled. The plot is centered around child exploitation, and how these detectives, a former lawyer and a father, try to take down this operation by finding (or killing) the ring leader himself. The sad thing is, stuff like this does occur in the world today. It sickens and angers me. I wish somehow we could save all these kids from all the perverts of society. I sat through the whole series (9 episodes), in one sitting. Thank God I was off work today, otherwise I would have had to call in sick, in order to find out who the actual ring leader was. Lol. Don't be fooled because of it being a foreign series, because the acting was suberb!! I sure hope there are more seasons coming to Netflix in the near future, because it will be exciting to see what the new plot will be. Kudo's to all the Icelandic cast for an absolutely amazing performance!! Thank you to Netflix for airing it as well.

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    1. I totally agree with you.If you cannt stomach this ,just dont watch it ,is my opinion ,but its is a very intelligent ,merciless serie, like life itself. The acting ,editing ,soundtrack ,sets etc etc is superb ,whether you like it or not.

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  2. A bit dark and twisted but an excellent series. The acting is believable, the storyline definitely holds the viewer's attention. The focus of the series is disturbing but sheds light on child exploitation

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    1. It really is a good series, but it's so depressing!

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  3. Dark and twisted but overall it was good! make you realize that sadly things like this actually happen in real life and how difficult it is to stop.The police can only go through specific channels and therefore makes it more difficult to help victims like the ones portrayed in the show. Will there be a second season?

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    1. No official word on a second season. I'd wager a good possibility, but this is an Icelandic series that Netflix distributed. Netflix didn't produce this.
      This is a spin off from a 2009 show, so if they can resurrect that there might be a market for anther season.

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  4. Yes, it is a good story but also very dark and depressing. Also, far too much "nasty" sex, as for the amount of cigarette smoke.....it makes me wheeze just watching them all!
    I put it down to the Icelandic temperament,bleak landscape (I know, they don't show any and that is why!) and weather....all those dark months is bound to have a bad effect on a person. I am glad we are nearly done, 3 more episodes to go, because I can't cope with any more!

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  5. This series takes forever to say anything. There are constantly 2 people in a shot, one asking questions, the other revealing nothing. There is no movement of plot for many episodes and quick cutting away from any scene that threatens to come up with progress. Manipulated lack of communication between characters happens again and again. Just as something is about to happen, something else gets in its way, a calculated theatrical interference. Several characters have lip movements that are supposed to reveal inner tension. It's as if they've all read the same book. Lack of facial expression starts to feel like either an acting technique gone wrong, or a statement about Icelandic culture.

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  6. Loved it. Perhaps I have a latent Icelandic soul. In any case, it was riveting for me. Like Trapped and Lava Field, I found it immensely entertaining. Although I did want to smack Logi on occasion

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  7. I am a bit confused after watching this. So who raped Lara before she killed herself? Why was Logi outside the theatre? I must have missed something.

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