By Will Barber Taylor
Follow the Money takes us into the world of economic crime in the banks, on the stock exchanges, and in the board rooms. It is the story of speculators, swindlers, corporate moguls and the crimes they commit in their hunt for wealth. It is also the story of us human beings, the rich, the poor, the greedy and the fraudulent who will go to any lengths to build the lives of their dreams.
When a dead body is found in the sea near a wind farm off the coast of Denmark, Mads, the police detective assigned to the investigation, refuses to believe that it is just an accident. The deeper he digs, the more suspicious he becomes of quickly expanding energy company Energen, and he is drawn into a morass of shady financial and legal dealings.
A dark and brooding series, Follow the Money might have the same style and intelligence that you would expect from Nordic drama but it has an international outlook that helps it stand out. Set in the highflying word of international energy and finances, the series feels more relevant than ever in the wake of the Panama Papers.
Shot with energy and fervour, Follow the Money’s directorial eloquence is part of its appeal. Like Trapped, where the frozen landscape of Iceland during winter almost became a character in itself, Follow the Money gives money a voice. It is the silent character constantly in the background and motivates the actions of many of the central characters in the series. Yet a subject that many would fine boring is enlivened by the combination of exciting script and the dynamic direction. The series makes no distinction between the grubby underworld car dealing, as seen in the first episode, and the boardroom deals that are made to cover up corruption. This lack of distinction gives the series a refreshing appeal; there are no distinctions, neither side is beautified, ultimately depicting the realism of criminal life.
Thomas Bo Larsen gives a frank and realistic approach to his linchpin role as Mads. Larsen doesn’t try to make the character quirky or different, he makes him realistic. This fits perfectly with the series overall tone of realism and depicting how the police really investigate crimes of this nature. Larsen’s minimalistic performance is the heart of the series and as such helps make it so unique.
Follow The Money never suffers from any of the problems that many television series about corruption face – it doesn’t try to make itself overtly dramatic for dramas’ sake. The core realism makes it engrossing and refreshingly individual.
FOLLOW THE MONEY can be purchased on DVD & Blu-Ray through Arrow Films and Nordic Noir & Beyond.