"Flickering Lights" (2000) is a Danish film directed by Anders Thomas Jensen that defies the typical Nordic Noir conventions while still retaining some of its key elements, which adds to its appeal and intrigue.
The film's plot revolves around a group of lifelong friends and petty criminals who, after stealing a large sum of money from a notorious gangster, find themselves hiding out in an abandoned restaurant in the countryside. As they wait for their wounds to heal and to finally escape with the money, they begin to see the appeal of rural life, questioning their criminal paths and forming an unlikely bond with the locals.
"Flickering Lights" is not a traditional Nordic Noir film - it is peppered with dark humor and displays an odd blend of crime drama and quirky comedy. However, it does bear the Nordic Noir's signature characteristics, such as morally ambiguous characters, violent pasts, and a dark, moody atmosphere. The desolate rural setting, though a deviation from the genre's usual bleak cityscape, adds a layer of solitude and isolation that aligns well with the Nordic Noir aesthetic.
The acting, led by the charismatic performances of Søren Pilmark and Mads Mikkelsen, is a highlight of the film. Their characters are complex and flawed, typical of the genre, but with a pinch of eccentricity that sets the film apart. The film's narrative is also filled with suspenseful and unexpected moments, keeping you engrossed till the very end.
"Flickering Lights" is an unconventional approach to the Nordic Noir genre. It blends dark humor and crime drama in a way that showcases the versatility of Nordic cinema. Its ability to simultaneously amuse and unsettle viewers makes it a standout in the realm of Nordic Noir.