By Will Barber Taylor
Trapped centres around a remote Icelandic town in the middle of a storm as a mutilated and dismembered body washes on the shore of an unidentified man murdered hours before. The local police chief, Andre (Olafur Darri Olafsson), whose personal life is in pieces, realises a killer has descended into his town. As word spreads order disintegrates into chaos as the town’s residents realise they are all possible suspects.
Trapped is a drama that uses its landscape to great effect. The series, set in the Icelandic town of Seyðisfjörður in the middle of an apocalyptic storm utilises the surrounding land to maximum effect. The cinematography throughout the series is stunning and the blustering, howling weather of the show helps drive the plot. It is because of the landscape that Andre is left to deal with the murder on his own without the investigative team from Iceland’s capital, Reykjavík helping. It is because of the landscape that the killer is able to remain hidden; the shifting snow of Seyðisfjörður reflects the shifting, contorting plot. The brilliance of Trapped lies in the subliminal characterisation of the weather and the way that characterisation is used. The weather is in some ways more of Andre’s enemy that the killer he seeks; it halts him at every turn and confounds him whilst he is trying to find out the motive for the murder. The cinematography helps create this sense of drama and move the plot forward.
Equally well done is the plot itself. Over ten sizzling episodes, Trapped develops not only Andre and his town’s character but also the reasoning behind the murder. This delicate balance is tread very careful and it gives equal time over to the dual sides of the series. The complex and enticing nature of the plot matched with the excellent visual content helps make Trapped a treat for viewers both in Britain and Iceland.
The acting is also excellent. As the series’ lead, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson presents Andre as a character to root for. Though he can at times come across as gruff and somewhat alienating, his heart is in the right place and his determination to see justice done is the iron rod that keeps the series together. Ilmur Kristjánsdóttir as Hinrika is the perfect foil for Andre; always questioning the best course to proceed with the case. Particularly well done are her scenes with the trafficked children; her empathetic and softer nature makes up for Andre’s somewhat brittle approach to police work.
The making of Trapped feature on the DVD truly helps anyone who enjoys the series to delve into its heart. It shows how location filming in Iceland helped create the series unique tone.
Trapped is a spectacle in regards to both its storytelling and visual elements. Whilst the landscape may reflect the old Norse fables, Trapped is thoroughly modern drama series that will keep any viewer on the edge of their seat.
TRAPPED is released on DVD & Blu-Ray Monday 11th April through Arrow Films and Nordic Noir & Beyond.