Advertisements

‘Deadwind’ (‘Karppi’) | Netflix TV Review Nordic Noir

3.5

Summary

A well-made crime drama that mixes mystery with personal trauma, Deadwind (Karppi) is another fine addition to Netflix’s international library.

New on Netflix today is the 12-part Finnish crime drama Deadwind, or Karppi, co-written by director Rike Jokela with Jari Olavi Rantala and Kirsi Porkka. Those names likely mean very little to you, but I have a word count to meet and it’s always good to show your work.

Deadwind, which joins other Finnish crime shows on the streaming platform, such as Bordertown, did remarkably well in its native Finland, boasting strong reviews and consistent ratings, and a nomination for its screenplay at the 2018 Nordisk Film & TV Fond.

You can see why. It’s well-written, even if it is occasionally blighted by regional idiosyncrasies that might leap out at an international audience. But the Nordic noir demographic will probably lap Deadwind up, and short of a few plot holes and instances of clanging characterisation, they’d be wise to. And coming courtesy of one of the most egalitarian societies in the world, a woman in the lead role and several women in other, prominent ones, isn’t treated as a tiresome thematic novelty.

The plot instead concerns itself with recently-widowed mid-30s detective Sofia Karppi (Pihla Viitala), who investigates the body of a young woman found buried in a construction site and is led along a trail of mysteries that interlace with her personal trauma. The themes of loss, grieving, parenthood and recovery are universal, treated respectfully and patiently in Deadwind, which is mostly humourless and self-serious but rarely dull.

Presented with chilly authenticity, the show’s muted colour palette and frequent use of long, wide shots gives it an eerie, effective atmosphere, reminiscent of classic genre work that’ll surely satisfy established fans and likely court a few new ones. The performances, particularly Viitala in the lead role, are sullenly compelling, and supporting turns from Lauri Tilkanen, Jani Volanen and Tommi Korpela flesh out a strong, game cast.

Only recently following Ultraviolet, an inferior show, Deadwind offers Netflix another female-led foreign-language crime drama that’ll likely do well with a certain audience. This one is more traditional, but also more deserving of your time and attention. With a second season already in the writing stage and slated to shoot in spring 2019, now is the time to get on-board.

Advertisements
We need your help. Ready Steady Cut is an independently owned and operated outlet, and would like to remain so. But online advertising revenue is so pathetic that the only way to do that is by publishing clickbait nonsense and farming hate clicks. We’d rather not do that. So, we need your help. Now we’re reaching more readers than ever before, and providing a platform to more volunteer writers than ever before, we want to find an approach that builds a closer connection between our writers and readers while keeping our content free and accessible for everyone. And we want to get rid of ads. If you’d like to help us do that, please consider donating to our Patreon page. Over a million people have visited the site in the last few months – if a tenth of that number donated as little as $1, our future would be secure. Thank you.

Jonathon Wilson

Your favorite writer's new favorite writer.

6 thoughts on “‘Deadwind’ (‘Karppi’) | Netflix TV Review

  • Aug 25, 2018 at 10:39 am
    Permalink

    Sorry to say but the plot is really bad and the only noir is the police office with no lightning inside. 🙁

    Reply
  • Aug 26, 2018 at 3:45 pm
    Permalink

    I also thought it was good. Well defined strong characters and good narratives. The two leads were excellent. Can’t wait for second series.

    Reply
  • Sep 4, 2018 at 8:56 pm
    Permalink

    I find the plot a bit ridiculous – one woman alone searching a massive container ship.. Good acting though and the interactions between the two cops are funny.

    Reply
  • Sep 17, 2018 at 5:40 am
    Permalink

    It plays like a Lifetime channel mini series. You know the theme women smart men dumb. It gets old quick.

    Reply
  • Oct 30, 2018 at 3:36 am
    Permalink

    The characters and acting are good, but the whole plot hinges on a series of ludicrous coincidence that left me frustrated and dissatisfied. Character can make a good show great, but a murder mystery has to have a reasonable whodunnit answer to work. Here, the murder investigation’s difficulty (spoilers coming…) depends on a cheating wife confronting her husband, her lover, the evil international corporation paying her to be an industrial spy, and the obsessive neighbor who she somehow never until today recognized she grew up with in a commune…in the same 24 hour period…through sheer coincidence. Each of these subplots were apparently going on for months or longer, but for the show to work they need to all blow up together despite having no relationship to each other. Pihla Viitala is amazing, but the writing has some awful holes.

    Reply
  • Nov 7, 2018 at 5:23 am
    Permalink

    I liked the show except the main character, the woman. She seems a loser who makes mistakes with every turn and miraculously everything works out well at the end for her. The other characters are ok and the plot is ok, not great. But frankly every time the female detective showed up I wanted to turn off the TV

    Reply

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: