The Keeper of Lost Causes (Kvinden i buret) (2013)

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Released 3-Dec-2014

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2013
Running Time 93
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Mikkel Nørgaard
Jussi Adler-Olsen
Nikolaj Arcel

Madman Entertainment
Starring None Given
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Danish Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    I have become quite a fan of Scandinavian police and crime thrillers over the past few years, probably starting with the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series of books and movies. There are many films and TV series to investigate in this space such as the excellent Bron/Broen which has spawned two remakes and things like Borgen and more. There is a distinct style which these shows tend to have with a slightly cranky or withdrawn hero and a generally grim and glum atmosphere. This latest Scandinavian crime thriller, The Keeper of Lost Causes (Kvinden i buret) is no exception to those style rules and is the first film based on a series of best selling novels, the Department Q series by Jussi Adler-Olsen. Others in the series are already in the works.

    The main character is Carl Marck (Nikolaj Lie Kaas), a homicide detective in Denmark, who is mostly disliked by his colleagues and superiors due to his grumpy and individualistic approach. After a bungled raid he is transferred to run a new Department called Department Q, which will be responsible for sorting through and closing out the paperwork on old cases which have not been finalised. He is clearly told that he will not be investigating the cases just completing the paperwork. He is assigned an assistant, Assad (Fares Fares) who is keen and pleased to be assigned to a new department. Of course, Carl dislikes him immediately and quickly starts to make his life difficult. The first case they start to look through involves a female politician, Marete Lyndgaard (Sonja Richter) who disappeared 5 years earlier. The original investigation concluded that she had jumped from a ferry crossing to Denmark with her disabled brother. Carl starts to become suspicious that this was too obvious a solution and decides to investigate despite his direct orders to leave it alone. With Assad's assistance he starts to investigate what really happened five years before.

    This is a well constructed thriller, with an interesting device which shows the previous five years being revealed concurrently with the investigation playing out. It is tense, grim and moody added to by a naturalistically lit and monochromatic colour scheme in keeping with many shows from this part of the world. Much of this is driven by the light in Scandinavia but the style of these shows uses this as a starting point and extends it. The acting is good and the film provides thrills and a good mystery for the audience. To me, it feels more like a television show than a theatrical film, however, a good quality one. The acting is of a good standard and this is a good start to what should be a worthwhile and intriguing set of films.


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Transfer Quality


    The video quality reminds me very much of a quality television production such as Bron/Broen with a limited colour palette, naturalistic lighting and good sharpness and detail. It does not create a great 'Wow' impact from a home theatre perspective, however, this is probably an unfair expectation. Technically, it is 2.35:1 (which obviously goes against the TV show feel) and 16x9 enhanced. The DVD transfer is nicely sharp and detailed without setting the world on fire. Shadow detail is average probably driven by the natural lighting scheme more than the transfer. There are no obvious artefacts.

    There are English subtitles available which are clear and easy to read.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio is good without being spectacular. It is technically a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack in the original Danish which does the job without issue. The dialogue seems clear, however my Danish is rusty. The music is tense and suits the show. The surround speakers are used for atmosphere, sounds inside a chamber which plays a part in the story and the sounds of a ship. The subwoofer also joins in the support the music and for the sounds of the ship. Basically, does the job without setting the world on fire.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


One minor extra.


    The menu features music.

Theatrical Trailer (1:36)

    Australian Trailer for the film.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This film is available in the UK in the same format and there is also a Danish Blu-ray release which seems to include English subtitles. If you are keen for a Blu-ray this seems to be the only current option, however, the local DVD does the job admirably.


    A tense and gripping Scandinavian thriller.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The extras are limited to a trailer.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Saturday, January 24, 2015
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationMarantz SR5005
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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