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Danish visionary Nicolas Winding Refn (Trilogy Pusher, Valhalla Rising, Drive, Neon Demon, Too Old To Die Young) has completely released the brakes in the series he filmed in Denmark for Netflix. “Copenhagen Cowboy” is the craziest thing you’ll see on television this year, a wild series that’s almost impossible to pin down in terms of genre and after which it actually took me a while to actually understand what I was watching. Refn continues with the style he established in “Drive” and continued with the following films and series and does not give up his idiosyncratic, recognizable style characterized by neon flashes, almost giallo baroque style, slow pace and brutal violence often shot in slow-motion.

The man has definitely succeeded in creating his own recognizable style, which is unique and special, and for some he is a visionary and an unsurpassed master, while for others what Refn does is pure posturing. Although “Copenhagen Cowboy” is nominally a stylized, flashy neo-noir thriller set in the criminal underworld of the Danish capital, I’d rather describe it as an avant-garde, nihilistic fantasy that is thematically and sort of a response to Tarantino’s “Kill Bill.” From the very beginning it is completely twisted, wild, made up with neon blue, red and pink colors that prevail, and the additional atmosphere to everything is once again the excellent score of his constant composer collaborator Cliff Martinez.


“Copenhagen Cowboy” is also his most grotesque content to date, and it seems to me that his eternal role model is still David Lynch and his absurdist perfection “Twin Peaks”. Once again, we have a mysterious protagonist, or rather a heroine for whom we are not at all clear about who she is and what she represents. Once again, she is a silent person who pronounces sentences with great difficulty, and the tiny and fragile Miu (Angela Bundalović) in a blue tracksuit who stoically goes through everything, is a complete contrast to all the high-strung and rugged gangsters she will meet. Right at the beginning, she will end up with the matriarch of the Serbian clan, Rosella, who rented her because she supposedly brings happiness to Miu.

She is something of a lucky locket in this criminal underworld that looks more like a crazy vision of hell than the real world, and Rosella believes that Miu will help her get pregnant even though the lady looks like she is at least sixty years old. Afterwards, Mia will end up with Albanian mobsters and then with Chinese gangsters, and through the dubious lawyer Miroslav (Zlatko Burić), she will get a job in a local, Danish criminal organization. However, all these criminals act as complete amateurs in relation to the Danish family that lives in a magnificent castle and is engaged in breeding pigs, and along the way they are sadistic killers and complete maniacs. In fact, no one in this series is normal and it brings Refn’s nihilistic, surreal vision of the world, and “Copenhagen Cowboy” is a real punch to the senses.

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It was a completely disturbed and abnormal underground odyssey that should continue in the second season, but the question is whether Refn will get the green light from Netflix to continue his acting. It’s hard to compare “Copenhagen Cowboy” to anything else, except of course what Refn himself shot, and it’s definitely a visual treat. The shots in which the camera moves around the usually carefully and carefully arranged space are ingenious, and it is fascinating how Refn pays attention to every smallest detail. This is truly avant-garde, and it’s actually pretty amazing that someone paid money to make a series that seems out of this world and that doesn’t fit in at all with the average content of Netflix. We’ll see if Refn gets a chance to develop this story that doesn’t even it’s not finished up close, but in the end it all becomes even crazier and more surreal.