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Intrigo: Death of an Author (2018)

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One solitary man at the rudder in a small open boat ploughs through a troubled sea off the Dutch coast.


Daniel Alfredson
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Credited cast:
Ben Kingsley ... Henderson
Tuva Novotny ... Eva
Michael Byrne ... Keller
Veronica Ferres ... Kerr
Benno Fürmann ... David
Daniela Lavender ... Mariam
Sandra Dickinson ... Madame H
Ed Cooper Clarke ... Thomas Neumann-Hansen
Elizabeth Counsell ... Fraue Bloeme
Erik Johansson Erik Johansson ... Mauritz
Jason Riddington ... Otto Gerlach
Gordan Kicic ... Journalist
Sian Webber Sian Webber ... Judge
Annamaria Serda ... Agent
Mladen Sovilj ... Young Man


A small open boat ploughs through a troubled sea off the Dutch coast. One solitary man at the rudder. A few days later, when the wind has settled, the smashed up remains of the boat will be found a few kilometres to the south. Meanwhile in Stockholm. David is contacted by his publisher. A manuscript by the famous author Germund Rein has turned up at the publishing house. David has translated the earlier works of Rein and is now given first option to tackle this one. However the manuscript has arrived in Sweden cloaked in strange circumstances. It has not been published in its country of origin. This is the original manuscript and it is accompanied by a letter which states that under no circumstances must the book be printed in its initial language. David also learns that the author Germund Rein has taken his own life by attaching a weight to his body and disappearing into the depths of the Atlantic. The letter must have been the last thing he wrote before he ended it all. The ... Written by D&D

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual content | See all certifications »



Germany | Sweden | USA



Release Date:

17 January 2020 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Death of an Author See more »

Filming Locations:

Pula, Croatia See more »

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User Reviews

At a lower level than the book.
10 January 2020 | by lizardjimsSee all my reviews

"Intrigo" is originally a collection of novellas written by the godfather of Swedish crime fiction, Håkan Nesser. In total, there are five novellas in the book and director Daniel Alfredson ( "The Girl Who Played With Fire", "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" ) decided to transfer all of them to the cinema screen. Intrigo: Death of an Author is the first, chronologically, movie and it is based on the story titled "Rein". It will be followed by "Intrigo: Dear Agnes" , "Intrigo: Samaria", and "Intrigo: Tom" . All the films will be directed by Alfredson and will cast a different set of actors. It should be noted that in a joint interview they gave, Nesser and Alfredson spoke about the importance of the source story and Nesser highlighted the fact that even though he believes that the book is always better than the movie, in this case, he thinks that they stand on an equal level . It is important for the authors to approve the cinema adaptations of their stories, it's a good indication for the film's commercial and critical success.

The movie is about a young translator who is also an aspiring author, David ( Benno Fürmann), who receives a nasty surprise when his wife, Eva (Tuva Novotny), tells him that she is in love with her therapist and is pregnant with his baby. David cannot accept that truth and in a moment of despair mixed with rage decides to do something drastic, kill his wife by sabotaging the brakes in her car. When Eva disappears the authorities interrogate David, but they lack any concrete evidence so they quickly shelve the case. Then the movie skips 3 years to find David living in Berlin having put the past behind him and leading a quiet life. As he listens to a concert on the radio he gasps when he recognizes Eva's cough (!) in the recording. He concludes that his wife is alive and sets out to find her. The concert was given in Maardam, H. Nesser's fictitious city featured predominantly in the great Van Veeteren series, so David goes there to start his search.

The above events are narrated by David himself to a renowned author named Henderson (Ben Kingsley) whom he visits in his house in a remote Greek island. David presents his personal story as a plot of a novel he is going to finish soon, but Henderson soon understands that David and the story's protagonist are the same person. This particular narrative trope keeps the suspense alive throughout the film's duration and the audience tries to imagine the possible connection of Henderson with David's personal story. In the end, the truth is revealed with a major, though foreseeable, twist and the protagonist finds closure in the final act.

The story of "Intrigo: Death of an Author" is rich and tight-knitted with no redundant sequences, while there are plenty of twists and turns in the plot that keep the viewer glued on his seat. It is also a movie with high production values and it was shot in several countries, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, and Belgium. All the actors deliver spotless performances with Ben Kingsley stealing the show, as usual, and Tuva Novotny is subtle, though profound, in her well-measured portrayal of David's wife, Eva . On the other hand, I didn't like Benno Fürmann's performance, but perhaps it was his role that dictated the lack of emotions and expressions he exhibited in the movie.

This is an enjoyable way of spending 100 minutes of your time, it is an entertaining movie with an absorbing story and nice acting, but it is not of the same greatness as some of Daniel Alfredson's previous films like "The Girl Who Played With Fire" or "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" . On the plus side, Alfredson remains loyal to H. Nesser's novella, a fact that guarantees pleasant storytelling.Nevertheless, "Intrigo: Death of an Author" lacks the spark that would make it a movie worth remembering in the years to come. I can only hope that the next films in the series will be better and worthy of Håkan Nesser's writing skills.

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