Before Joel Kinnaman began doing movies in America, the actor made a name for himself in Sweden. On top of portraying Frank Wagner in the Johan Falk series, Kinnaman starred in the Easy Money trilogy. This Throwback Thursday will cover the first in the series, which was released in 2010. After having success in Sweden, the Weinstein Company acquired distribution rights for the states. According to Wikipedia (which I’d take with a grain of salt), Warner Bros. owns the rights to Easy Money (or Snabba Cash) for an American remake.
In Easy Money, Kinnaman portrays J.W. – who is a college student and has little money. J.W. leads a double life, though; driving taxis illegally to portray himself as wealthy to his upper-class friends. While we see J.W. hanging out with drug dealers and replacing the buttons of his cheap shirts to look richer, his rich friends have no idea. To them, J.W. is one of them and is used to the “stekare” lifestyle.
Stekare: in Swedish parlance, a lifestyle based on flaunting one’s apparent wealth.
Things get crazy for J.W. when he fully gets involved in the cocaine business. Throughout the film, he gets involved with an escaped inmate named Jorge (played by Matias Varela) and a hitman known as Mrado. J.W. is completely out of his element in both lifestyles he’s trying to lead. He may put on a good front for both, but he’s underprepared. Underprepared to pretend he’s one of the upper class socialites he hangs out with and ill-prepared to face the realities of being a drug runner.
Easy Money, especially the first one, is a little more low-budget than its sequels – especially the third one. But, the first one is the best one. Kinnaman was a good forerunner for this film, but his story acts as a catalyst for everyone else’s plot to circle around. While J.W.’s story isn’t necessarily interesting and compelling, his character is almost like the chauffer for the viewers. There’s a lot going on and the movie is pretty enjoyable if you are looking for a foreign film to watch. Easy Money is available on Tubi TV.