A drug pusher grows increasingly desperate after a botched deal leaves him with a large debt to a ruthless drug lord.
Nicolas Winding Refn begins his career with the first film of his Pusher trilogy that offers an exploration of Copenhagen’s criminal underworld. Expectations were relatively high for the film that is regarded as the film that sparked the careers of both the now acclaimed Danish filmmaker and vastly-talented Danish actor Mads Mikkelson.
Unfortunately, but also expectedly and forgivably, Pusher is marred by the inexperience of a debut director, but it does showcase stylistic flourishes that would be expanded upon to rich success in his later productions. Pusher combines an episodic narrative (Valhalla Rising), excessive violence (Bronson) and a complex, bittersweet romance (Drive). All of the pieces are there that make this immediately identifiable as a piece of Refn cinema, but regrettably they don’t quite fit together.
Nicolas Winding Refn's gritty directorial debut is pure anarchic low-budget filmmaking. A simplistic and one-dimensional start to his career, but the flourishing potential and budding style is always seeping through the cracks. There always is a sense of wonder when viewing the start of a great career. Following a low-life drug dealer as he desperately scrambles to get the money to pay off his boss. Refn works around his limited resources by relying on exhausting pacing that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish, never letting up long enough for the flimsiness of its plot to matter. Kim Bodnia is a rock solid lead, and a very young Mads Mikkelsen makes a shamefully brief…
"I'm not a whore. I'm a champagne girl"
Holy fucking shitballs that was intense.
Never glorifying the lifestyle of these underworld scummers, Pusher puts you in the position of a fly on the wall. A fly covered in the shit and the squalor, the coke and the offal associated with the world of smalltime dealers.
As far as debut features go, this is a hard hitting movie which demonstrates a great deal of the flair and visceral aptitude that Nicolas Winding Refn would brandish later in films like Brosnan and Drive.
Parallels can be drawn with Matthieu Kassovitz's La Haine and to some extent Matteo Garrone's Gomorrah.
By sticking at arms length with the protagonist for pretty much the entire…
Moving from Nicolas Winding Refn's neon-soaked, fluidly staged works such as "Bronson" and "Drive" to this, his 1996 directorial debut, is something of a rude awakening. Although there are a few moments that echo the visual style Refn would develop later in his career, they are rare indeed. This is a punishingly low-budget feature, filmed mostly with handheld cameras and utilizing natural lighting. The budget was reportedly no more than $1 million.
"Pusher" is very much in the vein of other 90's crime pictures, which humanized criminals by making them work-a-day schlubs with no direction in life, who like watching movies and talking about their sexual conquests (real or imagined) - you know, like everyday people. The difference is that…
A very competent debut for Refn. It's a bit inconsistent tonally, could use a bit tightening in the first half, and the climax wasn't wholly satisfying, but it's an otherwise solid little film.
A series of films I have been looking to catch up with for years, Nicolas Winding Refn's breakout Danish language film is a fairly usual drug dealer gets in over his head tale which is brightened up by a wonderful underlying sense of tension bubbling away under the surface throughout, not having one character who is all that likable and a kinetic visual style which does feel a bit 90's admittedly, a little bit Boyle circa Shallow Grave/Trainspotting I'd say, but as the formative working of a now master filmmaker, it's very worthwhile and watchable stuff and I look forward to seeing the sequels.
Das original ist trotz schlechterer Musik insgesamt besser als das Remake. Die schlechte/oldskool Qualität macht den Film realistischer und beklemmender, außerdem gibt es hier Hannibal mads mikkelsen.
Good but never great. Found to be gratuitous in parts.
Urgent, gritty and pulsing with immediacy, Pusher plunges us into the Danish drug scene with stylish use of docu-like realism.
Okay, so Frank’s not the most likeable protagonist – in fact, he’s often pretty damn unlikeable – but Kim Bodnia is a brooding and intense presence.
Full review at: www.flixcapacitor.co.uk/film-review/pusher-1996
Amiable. You can neon romanticism beat brit grit just towards the end.
Perhaps I suffered from having seen several of Refn's later films but "Pusher" failed to make an impression on me. It was enjoyable, but it just didn't have the punch that films like Bleeder, and Drive did.
We first follow Frank, a drug dealer, and his partner Toomy through a day of their dealings. Frank is a mid-level dealer who sells small amounts and spends the rest of the time partying about with Toomy or with his escort 'girlfriend', Vic. He meets an old friend and sets up a big deal where he has to borrow a large amount from his dealer. Frank's deal is interrupted by the cops and he has to destroy the drugs to prevent possession charges. Now Frank's out of drugs and money and owes an ever increasing amount to his supplier who really wants his money and things escalate from there......
Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn of Drive fame this is a…
The directional debut of Nicolas Winding Refn is a raw and gritty underworld story based in the Copenhagen underworld. When a drug deal goes wrong for the mid-level drug dealer (pusher) Frank, he finds himself deep in debt by Milo. Increasingly growing desperate he tries and find his way to solve his problems only to find himself buried deeper in shit with each attempt.
Apart from the directional debut of Nicolas Winding Refn, this movie also marked the debut of Mads Mikkelsen, as Tony the side-kick.
This movie is not without flaws however due to the intensity it had me constantly focused on the movie and now I am eager to see the other two parts of the Pusher trilogy.
Refnov debi, solidan komad niskobudžetnog trilera i ne nešto što bih povezao s kasnijim autorovim opusom.
Denmark's Michael Chiklis cloning program is coming along nicely. Let's hope the EU keeps them happy with skinny dragon tattoo chicks, black metal, and heroin or it's our ass!