Swede on the run in Phuket

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television Free To Air - Farang,

Based on a sim­i­lar no­tion to that of Re­becca Gib­ney’s Wanted on Seven, Farang is a Swedish ac­tion thriller set in Phuket, Thai­land.

It stars Ola Ra­pace ( Sky­fall, Wal­lan­der) as Rickard, a for­mer crim­i­nal hid­ing out in Thai­land from peo­ple he tes­ti­fied against 10 years ear­lier. He has been para­noid about his pri­vacy, in­clud­ing never al­low­ing him­self to be pho­tographed. But ev­ery­thing is jeop­ar­dised when his 15-year-old daugh­ter Thyra (Louise Ny­vall) tracks him down; if she can, then so can his en­e­mies. It also stars Thai pop star and ac­tress Yayay­ing Rhatha Phongam ( Only God For­gives) as Pra­nee.

From the preda­tors wait­ing to pounce on the un­ac­com­pa­nied Thyra to the cock­fight­ing, cheap beer and seedy night clubs, the cre­ators haven’t shied away from de­pict­ing the un­pleas­ant un­der­belly of the tourist trade.

Swedish di­rec­tor Erik Lei­jon­borg ( Thicker than Wa­ter, also avail­able on SBS On De­mand), says Farang they tried to avoid cliches by do­ing re­search in Thai­land be­fore the shoot, and us­ing a lo­cal crew who were fa­mil­iar with in­ter­na­tional pro­duc­tions.

“I love char­ac­ter-driven dra­mas with a tense thriller el­e­ment,” he told the Nordisk Film & TV Fond ear­lier this year. “Also, I have a teenage daugh­ter — so the fa­ther and teenage daugh­ter an­gle was very in­ter­est­ing to me.”

The 20-year vet­eran of TV drama also says for­mu­laic dra­mas for mass mar­kets were a thing of the past.

“There’s been a new shift, with au­di­ences ask­ing for unique sto­ries and com­plex char­ac­ters again. There­fore I’m glad to see that writ­ers and di­rec­tors now are in­spired to cre­ate more drama ‘out­side the box’,” he says.

Can it be long be­fore we have Nordic noir set in the Aus­tralian out­back? stream­ing on SBS On De­mand.

Ola Ra­pace plays a for­mer crim­i­nal hid­ing out in Thai­land in

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