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Jackpot

Jackpot

Released 10 August 2012
Director Magnus Martens
Starring

Kyrre Hellum, Henrik Mestad, Marie Blokhus
Writer(s) Magnus Martens
Producer(s)

Are Heidenstrom, Martin Sundland
Origin Norway
Running Time 86 minutes
Genre Black comedy
Rating 16
69

Each way bet.

Black comedies, eh! It really is in the eye of the beholder, you either get it or you don't. And that isn't just a strict law for the genre as a whole, it's a common rule that governs nearly all black comedy films. There's obviously the widespread use of undertone humour, sarcasm and such but each individual screenplay appeals to slightly different, and often unique, demographic profiles. Adding to the unpredictability for Jackpot is its setting in Norway, where the old lost in translation adage comes into the equation.

Oscar leads a relatively simple life where he rather comically runs a rural manufacturing company which employs ex-convicts and psychos. At the start of the movie, though, we see Oscar being picked up by the police as the sole survivor, and therefore prime suspect, of a killing spree in a local strip joint. As Oscar is interrogated by the detectives, he tells his improbable story of a win on the football pools with three of his shady co-workers and the humorous, but violent, escapade that led him down the bloody path as he went in search of his jackpot.

The story is absolutely ludicrous but of course it is supposed to be, and it's all the more fun because of it. Although a different concept, the entire feel of the movie is all very Father Ted in that it's just one wrong move after another involving an agglomeration of mindless idiots – even the police. There are a few totally absurd scenes that deliver the rather rare and most difficultly achievable entity for any comedy film of a laugh out loud moment.

That said, there is so much in there that is clearly for a Scandinavian audience and as a result is impossible to connect with, which does jar on occasion. All you can do in that situation is struggle past it and move on because there is enough in here for the global audience to enjoy too. And as with all black comedies, some parts you'll understand and some simply won't resonate. Jackpot is unreservedly stupid, but it's a good laugh all the same.

- David Caulfield