Director Rune Denstad Langlo brings some welcome levity to the highly topical subject of Europe’s migration crisis in this acerbic and insightful black comedy that pokes fun at the behaviour of Norwegians when pushed outside their comfort zones.
The star of all three of Denstad Langlo’s previous features, Anders Baasmo Christiansen, plays Petter Primus, a jovial racist and failed entrepreneur who turns his dilapidated mountain hotel into a state-funded refugee asylum centre to remain financially afloat. Not surprisingly, the cultural rub causes more than a little friction, especially his relationship with the overly optimistic arrival Abedi (a standout performance by newcomer Olivier Mukata). Fifty freezing refugees, a nosy Norwegian Directorate of Immigration, a depressed wife and a restless teenage daughter prove far more than Petter Primus can bear!
Sharp, witty and unpredictable, Welcome to Norway! juggles its themes with acute skill; never patronising for the sake of laughs, never too serious for the sake of political correctness. This is a film that will put a smile on your face in ways you may not expect.