If you want to know about corporate crime you should Follow the Money, says Tony Aldis.
Follow the Money opens on the machinations of a large and established green energy company, Energreen, and their tragic results. From manipulation of the markets to government ministers, we are privy to corporate boardroom politics raw and bloody. Sander (Nikolaj Lie Kaas), a both charming and chilling CEO, is approached with revelations by company lawyer, Claudia (Natalie Madueño), and a dangerous corporate dance begins.
The alternative energy industry has certainly grown up in this picture and lawyers like Claudia now seem more important than technicians to keeping profits coming in and hopefully, for them, directors from behind bars. However rather than satisfying itself with the view from the top, we follow the money right to the bottom and witness the very real effects on the lives of workers, their friends and families.
In this respect, so far no punches have been pulled in the picture drawn of cost cutting and intimidation of the workforce in order to get the job done on cost and without “fuss.” Here enters our detective Mads (Thomas Bo Larsen) — imagine Wallander making a guest appearance in Spiral and you would be in the ball park. However, with an mystery illness throwing domestic life into near crisis, yet another layer is seamlessly added in the way that Scandinavian drama seems to, from where I sit, do so well.
Finally another picture is woven into the fabric of the story as we are introduced to Nicky (Esben Smed Jensen) and his attempts to go straight and resist the pull of “easy money” while struggling with his partner to take care of their young family. Towards the end of Episode 2 in a nicely plotted and played out twist we see the two story lines collide as again we follow the money, this time in the best offbeat heist movie tradition.
From the opening credits this is a world where those from top to bottom are compelled and controlled by the need to make and spend money. Rules and laws are broken as are loyalties and principles in doing so. The difference so far, is that when you are at the top the whole system is designed to protect, disguise and disregard these transgressions; while at the bottom the opposite is true and you are required to pay with at least your dignity and at times your life.
I don’t see Follow the Money ending well — capers that are over in the first reel rarely do in cinema — but I am certainly invested in each and every character enough to take the journey to I know not where. Luckily for me that is how I like my thrillers.