Pusher

Film

Thrillers

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Time Out says

This is the worst week in Frank's life - and very possibly the last. Deep in debt, he fixes up a complicated heroin deal involving his skinhead pal Tony and Balkan dealer Milo. The exchange is a bust, and Frank loses both the money and the merchandise. By Thursday, Tony's out of the picture and Milo's putting on the squeeze. By Friday, Saturday might never happen. Using available light, spasmodic handheld camerawork, and improvised dialogue, write/director Refn goes out of his way (in his first feature) to create an everyday world of extraordinary circumstance - then piles on a pounding thrash guitar score and punchy editing to create a kind of electric realism. Scorsese is a touchstone, but it's a long time since he achieved this kind of blistering intensity. It's a rough ride, for sure: Tony's idea of small talk scorches the ear; the music's loud enough to feel; and a series of violent confrontations are so near-the-knuckle it's a relief not to come out bleeding. Yet this is much more than an assault on the senses. As Frank, Bodnia's baleful tough guy stoicism masks an emotional constipation which even precludes physical contact with his hooker girlfriend (Drasbæk). Wheeling and dealing for all he's worth, he can only conclude that he's not worth much; and if Copenhagen comes to resemble hell on earth, it's definitely a hell of Frank's own making.
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Release details

UK release:

1996

Duration:

110 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Nikolas Winding Refn

Cast:

Laura Drasbæk, Zlatko Buric, Kim Bodnia, Slavko Labovik

Production Designer:

Kim Lovetand Julebæk

Editor:

Anne Osterud

Cinematography:

Morten Soborg

Screenwriter:

Nikolas Winding Refn

Producer:

Henrik Danstrup

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