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Swede Caroline

There is mystery galore as Jo Hartley plays the titular character in Swede Caroline. Following in the footsteps of quirky British comedies like Brian and Charles, it sets itself up as one to watch out for. Not since Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit has a film about vegetable growing been so damn good. 


Set in the seedy underworld of competitive vegetable growing, Swede Caroline follows the titular character and her friends Paul (Richard Lumsden) and Willy (Celyn Jones), as they investigate the disappearance of Caroline’s potentially prize winning swedes. As they barrel closer towards the truth, things become more complicated and dangerous. But will Caroline and co find out who took her precious veggies and, most importantly, why?


The best comparison for Swede Caroline is Brian and Charles which was released a couple of years back. A mockumentary style comedy, which followed Brian as he made a robot friend out of a mannequin and a washing machine. Swede Caroline shares a lot of features with said film. It is a mockumentary set in a rural town, and it follows quirky likeable characters, and most of all it is very funny. 

Part of the reason it works comes down to how seriously the subject matter is taken. It’s structured not dissimilarly to a true crime documentary, but instead of it being centered around a murder, or a kidnapping, the subject is the theft of Caroline’s vegetables. Beyond the quips and the jokes, the mystery becomes genuinely compelling, and you’ll wish you were in the front line with Caroline herself trying to work out who the real culprit is.

Swede Caroline

Jo Hartley is a gem of the British cinema and TV scene, albeit generally taking up more supporting roles. Seeing her lead Swede Caroline is a joy. She has a brilliant comic presence fit with pinpoint timing. She’s joined by a whole host of familiar faces who make up the rest of the cast. Fay Ripley plays fellow vegetable grower Linda, and Aisling Bea and Ray Fearon are Caroline’s friends and private investigators. Despite Bea and Fearon only sharing a few minutes of screen time here and there, they’re a fierce comic presence committing to the conceit of their characters' wacky backstory.

Overall, this is a side-splitting deep dive into the world of competitive vegetable growing (yes I’m taking this as seriously as the film does!). Swede Caroline is absolutely set to be the quirky British comedy of the year that deserves to be supported.


Swede Caroline rating



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