The burden of being a whistleblower.
Witch Hunt (original title: Heksejakt) is a 2020 Norwegian financial thriller that focuses on the interweaving of the economical and political power, inside the broader contemporary European socio-political context, that crashes any individual attempt of finding any kind of justice. In a way, the plot of the show feels in a similar vein to another Nordic TV production, the Danish series Follow the Money (original title: Bedrag), which dealt with money-laundering and fraud on a massive scale, conducted by a gigantic energy company in Copenhagen. In Witch Hunt, the audience witnesses the efforts of several individuals to stand up against a corrupt system that involves businessmen, lawyers, politicians, and journalists who are worried that their dirty laundry is about to be exposed by the protagonists. The series features a fine cast and a well-crafted storyline that keeps the viewer engaged throughout the eight episodes of the first season and the nicely-outlined main characters are easy to identify with. It is a nice change from the usual gloomy and gory Nordic noir productions and I hope that we will have the chance to watch more similar productions originating from the Scandinavian countries in the near future.
The show adopts a David versus Goliath angle that puts the protagonist, Ida (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal), a chief accountant in a high-end Oslo law firm, against her own employers when she detects a money-laundering scheme on behalf of the company's biggest client, the tycoon Peer Eggen (Mads Ousdal). Ida will immediately voice her concerns to her superiors, only to be persecuted by them with fabricated accusations of harassment. Ida will be left with no other choice but to turn to the Economic Crime Authority (Økokrim) and the honest, though a bit emotionally unstable, investigator Eirik Bråten (Fridtjov Såheim) who is dead set on bringing down Eggen and whoever associates with him in his shady dealings. As the investigation progresses, Eirik with the help of a young immigrant journalist, Aida (Sara Khorami), will realize that the case is more complex than he initially thought as the Norwegian Minister of Justice, along with her husband, seems to be involved. What follows is an uneven battle between the mighty Peer Eggen and Eirik who urges Ida to come forward and become a witness in order to build his case.
Witch Hunt's primary target is to portray the personal cost that the main characters have to pay in their quest for justice and redemption. The case causes a massive strain on Ida, Eirik, Aida, and their beloved ones as they one by one become prey of a faceless and ruthless network of immense power and reach. Nevertheless, there is a glimmer of hope in the season's finale that leaves the viewer feeling satisfied and optimistic about the future. Ingrid Bolsø Berdal is excellent as Ida and the same is true about Fridtjov Såheim's performance in the demanding role of the temperamental fraud investigator, Eirik. There are more well-known Norwegian actors in the cast such as Axel Boyum (Eyewitness, Home Ground), Gard B. Eidsvold (Hamsun, In Order of Disappearance), Bjørn Skagestad (Wisting, Grenseland), and Preben Hodneland (As I Fall, Amundsen). Overall, this is a recommendable show to the fans of the genre and all those who are keen on television productions that delve into the murky world of finance in the modern age. Give it a try and you won't regret it.