4 October 2014 | l_rawjalaurence
Socially Conscious Murder Mystery
ROSES, KISSES and DEATH differs from other entries in the CRIMES OF PASSION series, as it makes some trenchant points on class- differences in an hierarchical world. Inspector Christer (Ola Rapace) is engaged to be married to Gabriella (Lisa Henni), but it's clear that her family disapproves of the relationship: Christer is 'in trade,' so to speak, rather than possessing old money, and many of Gabriella's relatives, notably Fanny (Anita Wall) and Otto (Andreas Nilsson) obviously resent his presence.
What director Daniel di Grado shows, however, is that none of the family have any grounds for resentment; they have plenty of skeletons in the cupboard which gradually emerge as the body-count piles up. Christer has to switch roles, from being a subservient groom into an inspector doing his job, and it's clear that many of the family don't like it. Fredrik (Måns Westfelt) treats him rather like an insect, to be metaphorically squashed under his bourgeois foot.
Within this complicated scenario, Puck (Tuva Novotny) and Eje (Linus Wahlgren) assume a peripheral role: Puck only really becomes involved when she is left alone in her bedroom one night and becomes genuinely scared for her safety. As a close friend of Christer, she is equally likely to encounter resentment - or even revenge - from the family. There is one particularly well-staged sequence where a mysterious man enters her room, causing her to jump; director di Grado stages the action in darkness until the very end, when we discover that the intruder is actually Eje.
The plot, as with all detective fictions, is a complicated one, depending to a large extent on information narrated by Christer. Nonetheless the ending is refreshingly unexpected, as the murderer's identity is finally revealed. For all their pretensions, Gabriella's family turns out to be incredibly corrupt; hence we wonder why Christer chooses to return to his fiancée's arms right at the end. Perhaps all will be revealed in subsequent episodes.