Follow The Money begins with the cops finding a body in the water that once used to be a man called Mikhayil Husenko, but given that it’s difficult to track down day labourers when they could work for one of 50 companies, but the fact he died in an accident at a wind turbine plant piques their interest and sends them looking for the culprits, primarily the rather maverick Mads Justesen (Thomas Bo Larsen), one of those members of the police department who sometime oversteps the mark but he does it with the best intentions. He’s a bit like Jack Bauer but without the violence.
The series also buys into the ‘man-made global warming’ fallacy, that proliferates politics, which is clearly just a front to spike up ‘green taxes’ and make lots of money for the big companies. Cue Energreen, which is one such company, run by Alexander Sødergren (Nikolaj Lie Kaas), nicknamed Sander, a Copenhagen-born man who claims to be so green that he even rides his bike to get from A to B, just like many of our British politicians… even when all their papers follow behind them to work in their car(!)
Then there’s Claudia Moreno (Natalie Madueño), a lawyer at Energreen who finds an error in the company accounts which will save DKK20 million each year, but her boss, Mogens, takes the credit. Meanwhile, her private life also plays a major part in her life as her ex, Steen (Kasper Leisner), is planning to move to France and taking their son with him.
Similarly, Mads also has issues to address at home as his wife Kristina (Line Kruse) lays there ill with Multiple Sclerosis and while her doctor says there’s a chance she may recover, this is far from an exact science. Naturally, it affects their children, Esther and Albert, so he has to pull himself together in order to concentrate on the new case at hand. He works with Alf (Thomas Hwan) as look into a company called East Manchester Invest who are “front-running” with Energreen, meaning that there’s a mole passing company secrets on to them in order to steal a march on Sander’s company.
Also involved in the story are two car mechanics – the streetwise Nicky (Esben Smed Jensen) and dimwit Bimse (Lucas Hansen), the former looking to buy an apartment for his girlfriend and young child, and their stock-in-trade also involves stealing posh cars for a quick buck. Of course, they don’t take them to ‘We Buy Any Car’, so instead get involved with men with whom they really shouldn’t be getting involved… but you do what you have to, to make ends meet.
Another key player at Energreen is Ulrik Skov (Lars Simonsen), who many will remember as Jens in The Bridge, and I’ll say no more about that particular character in case you haven’t seen that programme, but you really must.
Energreen are looking to go public, so this is an important time for them. However, they want a clean environment but they’re all happy to pollute their lungs with smoke, as they choke away from cigarettes all day long?? But then again, whenever do the green bridgade make sense?
In the ongoing tradition of great Nordic Noir, this one introduces its characters in entirely disparate storylines for a short while before letting them cross over bit by bit, teasing you as it goes. This programme’s original title, Bedrag, translates to “Deception“, but in the UK it was re-titled Follow the Money, a phrase which pops up early on as the cops follow the money trail to see who’s up to all kinds of dodgy dealings. While the original title is a very valid one, it makes sense to have something that stands out because there’s all manner of films called Deception and you’re not going to find them easily with a Google.
Follow The Money has great plotting, drama, intrigue, insider trading, and is set in a world where everyone wants to get ahead in life, and it doesn’t matter who they stab in the back to get there. There are occasional times where things can get a bit far-fetched, but overall, it’s right up there with the best of Nordic Noir.
It also has stunning opening credits with various special effects involving water. One of the best is shown with the water pouring out as Nicky fixes a car. That’s also the sort of improbable thing that would happen if I was to fix something important in mine.
Go to page 2 for more thoughts on the series plus the presentation.
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.