The Chestnut Man is a crime-drama TV series created by Søren Sveistrup, Dorte W. Høgh, David Sandreuter, Mikkel Serup, directed by Mikkel Serup, and starring Danica Curcic, Mikkel Boe Følsgaard, and Iben Dorner, alongside other cast members. The series has 6 episodes, each around an hour long.
Netflix describes the series as:
At a grisly murder scene sits a figurine made of chestnuts. From this creepy clue, two detectives hunt a killer linked to a politician’s missing child.
The Chestnut Man, a Danish TV show, starts with a grisly murder. Well, quite a few. We also see plenty of “chestnut man” figurines all over the place around the crime scene. We then see our protagonist, Thulin, who is having a no-strings-attached relationship and has a young daughter. She’s a detective who is thinking of shifting to cybercrime. But before that can happen, she is given the task to look into a murder of a woman in Husum.
Danish shows are always interesting to watch. Last year’s Equinox was a confusing little puzzle that gave me chills down my spine. That one, too, starred Danica Curcic. From the start of The Chestnut Man, the series creates a compelling atmosphere. The crime scenes are gruesome, and the mystery tight.
As Thulin finds the dead woman in the playground, she also finds a tiny chestnut man beside her. The fiancé seems like a promising lead, but will it lead anywhere? Well, The Chestnut Man is more complicated than that. Before long, Kristine Hartung’s fingerprint comes up on the chestnut man – two cases that couldn’t be any more different. Yet… they seem to be connected.
From the first episode itself, The Chestnut Man does a good job at creating the mystery and keeping it alive. As always, the episodes end on cliffhangers and thus you’re compelled to keep on watching in order to understand what the heck is actually going on. The cases and situations are also quite gory so there isn’t much room for boredom.
As the series goes on and more bodies pile up, The Chestnut Man becomes more and more complex, but in the most delightful way. It is very difficult to understand who is carrying out the crimes or why it is happening. Also, what does any of this have to do with Kristine? We don’t know. The gruesomeness and complexity with which the perpetrator picks their victims make you wonder a lot of things. But especially how much people drop the ball when it comes to children.
There are some scenes that might trigger some people so I’d highly recommend being wary. The Chestnut Man, with its various avenues and thrilling moments, does not falter from bringing forth difficult issues and the evils of society. However, you are left to wonder whom to root for throughout its runtime. Is this the work of a vigilante or someone with deeper issues? Does this person want a change in society through the worst routes possible? Well, I can’t tell you that, can I?
The Chestnut Man not only focuses on the complicated cases, but it also slightly focuses on Thulin’s life as well. It’s not easy being a single mother and she cannot hold on to a relationship for too long. Even though her current flame seems like a good person, she pushes him away when he gets too close for comfort. Is it because of her work? Or is it just something that she’s just wired to do? How do these cases affect her?
Danica Curcic and Mikkel Boe Følsgaard as Naia Thulin and Mark Hess are great. Their chemistry is excellent and they bounce off ideas off each other excellently. It’s wonderful to watch them work together. Hess gives off Sherlock vibes sometimes, with the dead pig beating in the morgue (well, kind of). The others in this grim tale are great as well.
Summing up: The Chestnut Man
The Chestnut Man is moderately paced but keeps you at the edge of your seat throughout. The twists and turns that the series brings forth is shocking and interesting and there’s just enough blood and gore to keep things spicy. All in all, this one’s quite entertaining.
The Chestnut Man is streaming on Netflix.