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Snabba Cash Review 2021 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew Online
Stars: Evin Ahmad, Alexander Abdallah, Ayaan Ahmed
Snabba Cash translates as, quite literally, ‘Easy Money’, which is by way of being a funny joke. Nothing about the process of making money is easy in this show, and in fact it tends to be a troubling and seriously unpleasant experience.
Despite this, what indelibly marks it out as a product of Scandinavia is a certain hard-to-define gentleness. While this doesn’t permeate the whole thing, as in the excellent Vikings spoof Norsemen, in the same way as that rather head-choppy comedy there’s an amusing contrast between the violent subject matter and the characters being overwhelmingly nice and considerate. Particularly when it’s two police officers arresting someone for murder, or a gang boss chiding his underling for botching a hit.
Snabba Cash bears more than a few similarities to another of Netflix’s recent foreign-language productions, Dealer – right down to the main gang including a token hardnosed female gangster with impressive braids. But to some degree, that’s inevitable. Both are European works about the drug trade, so there will quite naturally be some common ground. A better comparison in terms of the wider story might be the Fargo formula, where some innocent vulnerable gets in over their head.
We know – obviously we know – that all the show’s disparate plotlines are going to crash into each other, and probably messily. But the show knows this too, and toys with this inevitability, teasing one moment after another where main character Leya (Evin Ahmad) and her white-collar ambitions could get themselves gruesomely tied to the underworld shenanigans, but do not. Again and again, it encourages us to think ‘surely this will happen’, and keeps surprising us.
This kind of tension is deployed well throughout – and unlike a Hitchcock scenario where everyone’s blissfully unaware of the bomb under the table, most of the characters here also know perfectly well that the other shoe’s going to drop sooner or later. As a particularly grisly example of this, the main cast includes two actual children, and the show isn’t shy about putting them at risk. It’s a throwing down of the gauntlet, a brazen declaration that they will not flinch from depicting an atrocity.
Ultimately, this is a story of people being put in impossible situations – or, if not impossible, then ones where none of the options available are much good. As well as the tension, Snabba Cash brings a deft hand to that fate-tempting storytelling device informally known as the ‘hope spot’ (“This’ll be the best Christmas Walford has ever had”, etc.). There’s plenty of moments where if this happens, if that deal can just go through, then everything’s going to be ok. And, again, it keeps surprising us.
Where it also surprises us, unfortunately, is with a few leaps in logic and continuity errors. Two that stood out were a character claiming not to know where another character lived, despite having been there before for an abortive romantic encounter – and a gang member turning themselves in for a crime nobody yet knew had happened. Neither get anywhere near ruining the whole experience as these are very much notable exceptions, but they still leave a bad taste, suggesting that the creators’ eyes were not always completely on the ball.