The Green Butchers

four and a half stars out of five Ok, it’s hard not to think of Delicatessen once you realise the plotline of this film – but Green Butchers is  quite a different type of movie.
Colleagues Svend and Bjarne, start their own butchery business to get away from the constant put-downs of their boss and because Svend thinks he has devised the perfect marinade. Failing to set the town alight initially, business perks up when they accidentally shut their electrician in the meat freezer and decide to serve him up as a way to dispose of the body. Attributing their sudden success to their unusual meat supply, Svend sets about finding new sources. Bjarne, at first horrified by this, soon settles into a resigned acceptance – until he’s shocked to find out who’s next on the menu…

It’s a very (darkly) funny Danish film, that seems really to be inviting us to take a sidelong look at the nature of sanity as Svend and Bjarne begin to disintegrate under the pressure of their illicit acts. Mikkelsen’s Svend is physically repulsive and obsessive-compulsive; Lie Kaas’s Bjarne has violent undercurrents from the start, but is clearly closer to some common idea of normality than Svend. Still, as the saying goes, just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean they’re not after you.


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