2 November 2013 | OJT
Fun with Detective Downs fails emotionally
Detective Downs has a difficult idea to film, and just like Bård Breiens "The art of negative thinking", which also was dealing with what we could call human defects (mental institution), this has trouble filling the shoes of the idea.
The film uses inspiration from a lot of classic movies and TV-series like Pink Panther, Agathon Sax and Film Noir crime stories.
Most likely you will think this is funny, but with a little bad after taste in your mouth. I found the start good, but that the film fail, especially on the emotional side of it, and also in some of the light weight acting as well as with the manuscript. The story is in no way believable. I've seen this much better done in other Norwegian films dealing with special persons: Elling (all the three films) and Alt for Egil, which were charm bombs.
Detective Downs is about Robert Bogerud, a grown up young man with downs syndrome. his father is a detective, but suffering with grief after losing his wife, and the mother of Robert. Robert want's to be a detective like his father is, in the police, except he has to be a private investigator, inspired by Humphrey Bogarts detective characters. The only thing. No one will hire him when they discover he has downs. They think it's all a joke.
And there's the main problem with the film. Because it's all a joke. Too much so. Also the plot of the story, but when Robert finally gets a case, then it's because he has downs. I'd like to see a film not dealing with the question so easily. OK that it's a comedy, and many scenes in the film are up right funny. so is some of the dialog.
But why does everyone have to treat Robert like he's a retard? He isn't, but the film seems to hold on to that theory too much for my like.
If you manage to see this as only a light weight comedy, you most likely will enjoy it due to the many laughs it gives. Still I think it's too easy to both get bored, dislike the story as well as choking on the laughs.
I don't like the plot. A film like this had deserved a better story. And still it could be just as funny, or even funnier.
So this film comes out just like the first of Bård Breien films. He will get appraisals in some corners of the film milieu, and deservedly so. Still I think his manuscript would have had good of treatment by others in a more professional manner. A good try, which fails emotionally.