Wednesday, 13 April 2011


2010 by Erik Skjoldbjaerg

On 5 April 2004, 11 men robbed the Nokas (a Nowegian Cash counting centre in Stavenger). They dressed themselves up like SWAT team and were armed. 7 men went inside the building collecting the cash in their bags and the rest guarded outside. They had blocked the police station entry with a burning trek, only a few minutes away from Nokas, delaying the arrival of the police. A real shoot out occured in the public square between the robbers and police in which a police chief was killed. The robbers manage to escape with 57.4 million Kroners.

This robbery was the largest in the history of Norway and this movie captures the incident just like it occured. Brilliant. The movie starts at 0310 hrs when the robbers are getting ready for the operation and ends at around 0830 hours when they manage to escape. In between it looks at the state of three groups of people, the robbers, the police and the bank staff. The robbers planning, nervousness and anticipation of the job is so nicely shot. The  situation with the police, who are short of staff and who really get caught because of the burning trek at their gate is even more well shot. Then there are the staff who manages to inform the police and sneak their way out of the bank.

I especially liked how the movie begins and carries forward until the shoot out. The robbers expected to break the glass wall on the back side of the bank with a sledge hammer and they thought the whole job will be done in 8 minutes. But the glass wall is so strong that it took more than 8 minutes just trying to break this wall. The scenes here itself take this movie to another level. Brilliant. However, this gives enough time for the staff to lock one of the locker rooms and escape. The disappointment of the robbers, unable to open a cash room, but just looking at the stacked cash across iron bars, was simply brilliant. So was the hapless situation of the police who were blocked by the clever idea to place a burning trek at their gate. But the final shoot out, I thought was rather unclear. Sure, the script is based on the real incidents and words from all those who were involved, but still I thought this was a very slight draw back. But may be that was how it worked on that day. Nobody seemed to know to whom or where they were shooting. And it is a miracle that only one got killed in this shoot out in a public place, where buses and public move between the robbers and police, amidst firing.

And almost all over the world the Police is not really equipped to meet a surprise situation.

All points to the script and director to make us feel for all three groups of people involved. That is excellent.

I really wonder how they managed to catch these robbers, later.

Nokas is a very different and excellent watch.