The first in what appears to be a series of Danish detective films based on novels by the same name, The Keeper of Lost Causes follows police inspector Carl Morck (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) and his assistant Assad (Fares Fares) as they solve cold cases. The reason Carl Morck is relegated to department Q was due to a fateful case a few months prior that ended with Carl injured and his partner dead. Unfortunately, his partner was the only police inspector that could stand working with Carl due to his unique personality or lack thereof. The story sets us up to know that Carl has no personal life to speak of, he is recently separated and living alone with nothing to do but think about work. Does this mean he plays by the rules? Of course not.
I’d classify this film as a fairly typical detective film with well-timed humor delivered by the two polar opposite protagonists creating an irresistible pair of heroes. If it weren’t for the Danish humor, I wouldn’t have enjoyed this film. However, I’ll give credit where credit is due. The screenwriter, Nikolaj Arcel, and novelist, Jussi Adler-Olsen, put together an interesting story that wasn’t too bland for the seasoned viewer. Beyond the relationship between the partners, which was definitely my favorite element, I also thought they fate of the woman they are searching for was unique. I won’t reveal anything other than to say it wasn’t something I’ve seen in recent memory.
Just a FYI, you may recognize the actor playing Assad from Zero Dark Thirty or Safe House. Fares Fares (yes, this is his real name) has an impressive resume of films of different languages from around the globe but mostly sticking to Scandinavia and the U.S. His character, Assad, makes up for all that Carl lacks including compassion, fortitude, and sociability.
Overall, I thought the film was definitely worth watching and who knew the Danish were so funny? My two viewing companions also enjoyed the film. As with any film involving violent crime, I wouldn’t recommend this film to anyone under 16 but it’s fairly tame in the grand scheme of things. I rate this film three out of five spectacles.