Occupied

Reportedly the
most expensive
media production
in Norway’s
history,
Occupied (aka:
Okkupert) is a TV
series of ten
episodes, each
one taking place
in a narrative of
consecutive
months. It’s shot
mostly in
Norwegian, but
with some English
dialogue.
At a new thorium
power station,
designed to
replace oil as a
viable alternative
to the near
future’s climatechange
problems
and solve the
global energy
crisis, the Green
Party’s Prime
Minister Jesper
Berg (Henrik
Mestad) is briefly
kidnapped to
warn him of the
European Union’s
backing for a
Russian-led
invasion of his
nation by
countries
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5/12/2018 Occupied – DVD blu-ray review for VideoVista at videovista.net
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unwilling to shake
off their
dependency on
fossil fuels. Soon,
PM Berg
surrenders his
executive power
to spare the
Norwegian people
the certainty of
death and
bloodshed if their
armed forces
provoke a conflict
over national
security and selfdefence
issues.
Police bodyguard
Djupvik (Eldar
Skar, in his first
starring role)
heroically chases
the hijacked
helicopter to save
Berg, and his
promotion to
investigator
means a rapid rise
so he becomes
involved in highlevel
situations,
like a
Scandinavian
Jack Bauer, that
include
assassination
plots and an
inevitable
Norwegian
resistance
conspiracy. Sadly,
Occupied lacks
the tremendous
pace or energy of
24, trying for
brooding
atmosphere and
slow-burning
tensions instead
of action setpieces
with a
more leisurely
5/12/2018 Occupied – DVD blu-ray review for VideoVista at videovista.net
http://web.archive.org/web/20160825173312/http://www.videovista.net/reviews/mar16/occupied.html 3/6
story-arc that
runs for nine
months.
As has often been
observed,
international law
only exists in law
books.

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The basic
idea here is a
genre notion, but
Occupied is not
particularly
science fictional
although it’s a
futuristic,
speculative drama
trading upon
Norge fears of
Putin’s
aggression, while
the TV show itself
prompted outrage
in Moscow.
There’s a doomed
reporter who is
desperate for
scandal and
notoriety as he
struggles to
uncover state
secrets of
euphemistic
‘European
disaster relief’
efforts by
Russians, and
Occupied explores
many of the
fourth estate’s
ethical concerns
(“The Russians
have eliminated
journalists
before”)
previously
charted by
investigative
news-hounds in
Scandi-noir
movies like the
successful trilogy
5/12/2018 Occupied – DVD blu-ray review for VideoVista at videovista.net
http://web.archive.org/web/20160825173312/http://www.videovista.net/reviews/mar16/occupied.html 4/6
that started with
The Girl With The
Dragon Tattoo.
Unfortunately,
this is drama that
lapses into
sentimental soap
opera routines of
domestic strife,
family problems,
and health
worries, so it
rarely misses an
opportunity for
hand-wringing
with optional
hankies.
Even when the
plot diversions
are mere sundry
crimes, it affects
the main
characters, with a
grim inevitably, as
if for the sake of
giving them all
something else to
do during the
unfolding
situation’s bigger
picture of
realpolitik – in
which, of course,
they are so often
otherwise
technically or
actually quite
powerless. As the
solemn Berg’s
earnest leadership
falters, a coup
seems likely, and
challenges to his
comprised
authority are
certain when the
social contract is
so obviously
broken, with a
progressive
democracy of
environmentalism
5/12/2018 Occupied – DVD blu-ray review for VideoVista at videovista.net
http://web.archive.org/web/20160825173312/http://www.videovista.net/reviews/mar16/occupied.html 5/6
crushed between
train-wreck
collision and a
collusion of
greedy
international
capitalism and
myopic Euronationalism.
An extradition
order for a
Chechen terrorist,
and other
destablising
actions, continue
and escalate a war
of nerves between
Berg and his far
mightier
opponents, led by
Russian
ambassador
Sidorva
(winningly
portrayed by
Ingeborga
Dapkunaite, who
played Lecter’s
mother in that
prequel movie
Hannibal Rising).
Dim-witted ‘Free
Norway’ terrorists
claim to believe
that car bombs
create hope not
fear.
Noisy street
protests in August
become a violent
riot in September
as, for both major
and minor
characters in this
impending
tragedy, questions
of ultimate loyalty
lead official
gamblers to
further personal
confrontations
5/12/2018 Occupied – DVD blu-ray review for VideoVista at videovista.net
http://web.archive.org/web/20160825173312/http://www.videovista.net/reviews/mar16/occupied.html 6/6
when a diplomatic
solution looks
impossible
without American
participation.
With another
hostage crisis
looming for the
beleaguered Berg,
events lurch
towards the chilly
December climax
in a two-part
finale. So, the
only vital
question
remaining is: “are
you ready to fight
for your country?”