Trapped is an Icelandic crime drama created by Baltasar Kormákur set in the bleak, snow filled beauty that is Iceland. With comparisons drawn to the likes of popular TV shows The Killing and Borgen, you would be forgiven for thinking that this is yet another in the long line of cookie-cutter crime series regularly churned out by networks – this is far from the case. Before watching, remove all preconceptions and get ready to lose yourself in its cold icy beauty and gripping plot.
What’s it all about?
Welcome to Seyðisfjörður, a tiny town picturesquely set on the end of a fjord in the east of Iceland. It is a community where everyone knows each others name (and business), and it is one so small that it only takes three police officers to take care of the crimes against parking that occasionally plague the area.
However, things are not as picture perfect as they at first seem. The weather in Winter is dark and treacherous. The storms are so bad they frequently cut off access to the town – Add to that the constant threat of avalanches and it is really not so good. So when a dismembered body gets fished out of a fjord, it is not surprising that the normal calm of the community gets thrown into disarray.
With a murderer suspected to be loose in town and a doozy of a storm keeping outside help at bay, Police Chief Andri (Ólafur Darri Ólafsson), must solve the crime, and control the ricochets of madness felt throughout the community. Doing this proves to be no easy task, especially when anyone could be a suspect. . .
Comprising of 10 episodes, Trapped is a drama that is quick to draw you in and has enough twists and turns that will keep even the most hardened crime watching aficionado happy.
One of the major highlights of the show is Police Chief Andri, a hulk of a man who bears the weight of the town on his shoulders. With a side of personal demons, a visiting ex with new beau in tow and a couple of daughters (who are more than a handful) – he has his work cut out for him. And as his investigation hots up and the secrets of the small community rise to the surface it is amazing he doesn’t hike his way out of there and leave them all to it.
Ólafur Darri Ólafsson is incredible as Andri. He plays his part with a complexity that is both relatable and entirely compelling. When he is having a hard time, you feel it. When he is excited or curious about a lead, you feel it. He is likeable, yet a bit of a shlub that you just want to encourage to get his life together. His character Andri is the glue that holds all the storylines together (and there are a few, the chunk of body is the tip of the iceberg). Even if the show weren’t amazing, it would be worth watching just to see Ólafsson’s performance.
Another highlight is the setting. The bleakness and whiteout of the storm juxtaposing against the warmth of the buildings and the mercurial townsfolk works brilliantly to heighten the tension and up the intensity.
The tone is consistent throughout, and it is beautifully written and acted. There are no gaping plot holes and each actor perfectly embodies their characters. There really is no weak spot.
Trust me, if crime drama is your thing (and even if it is not) you need to give this show a watch!
TRAPPED is released on DVD & Blu-Ray Monday 11th April through Arrow Films and Nordic Noir & Beyond.