Violence On The Streets Of Copenhagen: An Overview Of Pre-DRIVE Refn
Winding Refn’s stylish, edgy debut—which the director turned down an enrollment offer from the prestigious Danish Film Institute to make—stars Kim Bodnia as Frank, a low-level drug dealer working the streets of Copenhagen. When a big-time deal goes wrong, Frank finds himself in serious debt to his supplier, the vicious crime lord Milo (Zlatko Burić), who gives Frank a terrifyingly short timeline for repayment. Desperately scouring the city in search of the cash, Frank becomes increasingly frantic as the clock ticks down, knowing that failure to pay up will mean a grisly end for him. A gritty descent into the bowels of the Danish underworld, Pusher revels in its assertive stylishness and flamboyant violence, but its true strength resides in Bodnia’s stellar performance in the lead, working his already considerable intensity up to a fever pitch as the pressure on Frank builds. Notable also is a young Mads Mikkelsen, making his feature-film debut after a previous career as a professional dancer, as Frank’s sidekick Tonny, who would take over the spotlight for Pusher II.