Film: Easy Money (Snabba Cash) (2010)
Cast includes: Joel Kinnaman (The Killing, Safe House), Matias Varela (Storm), Dragomir Mrsic (Wallander), Lisa Hinni (A Place in the Sun)
Director: Daniel Espinosa (Safe House)
Genre: Crime | Drama | Thriller (124 Minutes) Based on a novel by Jens Lapidus Swedish with subtitles
The first storyline begins when Jorge escapes from prison with the help of sinister friends. No time to celebrate… there’s drug business to get to… a great “investment opportunity…” if they can pull it off. In the meantime, JW is living the good life… or so it would seem. His fashion-model good looks allow him to easily blend in with a wealthy playboy crowd… hanging out in glamorous clubs, dropping names. Little do they know, JW only has 243 kroner in the bank. In fact, they know very little about JW, and that’s the way he likes it. JW is a college student studying economics, and he drives a taxi to make ends meet. From his home base… in depressing student housing… we see that JW knows how to make a cheap shirt look expensive with a change of buttons. He looks like a million bucks when he walks out the door. At Sophie’s party, JW parks out of sight so he can make a grand entrance, walking through a sea of high-end luxury cars.
As it turns out, JW isn’t the only one concealing financial difficulties. “Their line of credit is frozen,” he learns. Yet some at the party aren’t sure what to make of JW. Maybe he’s not what he pretends to be. “There are three types of people…. Which are you?” It’s a pointed question, but JW is always cagey. He hopes he’s gotten away with it, but a “friend” quietly suggests, “You should stick to your own kind.” JW has found he can boost his taxi driver income by doing some special jobs. One of those jobs nearly gets him killed, and in the process, he is forced to take in a wounded drug dealer… Jorge. In JW’s shabby little room, Jorge comments, “You look like a classy guy, but you live like a drug dealer.” In fact, Jorge could use someone like JW… someone who is well connected and looks classy enough to get away with laundering money… but who’s hungry enough to want the job. He tells JW it’s easy money.
As it turns out, we’ve also been following a third story line… a rival drug organization… Serbs. They’re definitely not planning to work with Albanians or Arabs or whatever Jorge is. “We don’t have the same God.” But Mrado cautions against war. “We want money, not war,” The others say it must be war. JW’s association with Jorge is likely to put him in the middle of a very nasty situation… very nasty indeed. (Swedes seem to like their violence extra chrunchy.) Easy Money is one part stylish crime thriller, two parts unreserved violence. Those who happened to watch the AMC series The Killing will hardly believe Joel Kinnaman’s transformation. Looks can be deceiving, however. When it comes down to it, you can’t trust anyone… especially someone who promises easy money.
2 popped kernels
Money laundering for drug dealers could be an easy way to keep up with the beautiful people… or not
Rated: R (Violence, crime, drugs)
Audience: Young adults
Distribution: Art house
Tempo: Zips right along
Visual Style: Nicely varnished realism
Character Development: Not that kind of film
Language: True to life
Social Significance: Pure entertainment