There’s no such thing as “easy money” in Stockholm’s dark underworld. There’s a price to pay for everything.
Even if a screening is sold out, tickets are often available 30 minutes before the start of the film at the box office at each venue.
- Director Daniél Espinosa
- Producer Fredrik Wikström
- Screenwriter Maria Karlsson
- With Joel Kinnaman, Matias Padin Varela, Dragomir Mrsic
- Sweden-Germany-Denmark 2010
- 119 mins
- UK distribution Icon Film Distribution
JW (Joel Kinnaman, from the US version of The Killing) is a poor student living a double life among the wealthy elite in Stockholm. Using increasingly illicit means to fund his exclusive lifestyle, he hits on a chance to score ‘easy money’ through selling cocaine. As JW enters the dark world of organised crime his fate entwines with that of Jorge, a drug dealer on the run, and Mrado, a mob hitman tasked with tracking Jorge down. Easy Money is a gripping and stylish adaptation of the first novel of Jens Lapidus’s best-selling ‘Stockholm Noir Trilogy’. Director Daniél Espinosa successfully imbues the nastiness of Nordic noir with a Bret Easton Ellis-like sense of harsh glamour. Easy Money has been championed by Martin Scorsese, and you can see why: Espinosa’s keen balance of tension and violence with empathetic characterisation owes much to the legacy of his illustrious supporter.
Daniel, how did you first get involved in Easy Money?
One of my good friends, a director from Swedish film school, gave me the book of Easy Money and said I had to do it. He said, “I think it’s how you perceive the world”. I grew up with Serbs and got outcast from my suburb to a rich boarding school when I was 17, so I know how it feels to be the strange guy who has a different background to the rich kids. So when I read the book, it was like me. Fredrik Wikstrom had the rights and I approached him.
The film doesn’t feel like it’s imitating US gangster films. It has a unique style.
What made it different to most European gangster movies is that it was not trying to be a polished American movie like Heat or Goodfellas. A lot of those movies feel very fake. I wanted to shoot something handheld that I believed in, so a lot of the shots are from the back because I wanted to go into those worlds with those characters. The primary inspiration was European arthouse, but the rhythm and genre of the film creates something that could be perceived as commercial.
How closely involved did you want to be in keeping the integrity of the first film alive in the second two films?
Fredrik and I spoke and decided that if other film-makers were going to do it, they had to be people we admire. We wanted people different from me, because a trilogy with the same director is one thing, but the idea of making a trilogy with three different directors that share the same world but each have very strong ideas was very exciting.
Born of Chilean/Swedish parentage in Stockholm in 1977, he attended the National Film School of Denmark, graduating in 2001. His third feature, Easy Money, was the Swedish film with most admissions in his homeland in 2010, and won him an immediate call to Hollywood, albeit that the Denzel Washington-starring Safe House was largely set and shot in South Africa. He has most recently been tipped as the likely director for an upcoming adaptation of Tom Rob Smith's bestseller Child 44.
2003 Bokseren (The Fighter) [s]
2004 Babylonsjukan (Babylon Disease)
2007 Uden for kærligheden (Outside Love)
2010 Den fördömde [ep Den fördömde 1 only]; Snabba Cash (Easy Money)
2012 Safe House