The actual crimes upon which this story is based received quite some press in an otherwise sedate Norwegian society in 1978, and so did Gaute Heivoll's 2010 novel "Før jeg brenner ned" (translated into English as "Before I Burn") in which Heivoll weaves his own autobiographical elements in with the fires set by the title character of this film. Erik Skjoldbjærg's screen version, however, is a disappointingly stale rendition in which nothing seems to move except Dag's flames. Skjoldbjærg sets the tone well, but doesn't seem to know how or be willing to get underneath the characters' skin – least of all Dag's, who remains little more than an agent for the plot. There's also not much in the way of dialogue here; the characters act and speak in a manner which feels like a throwback not to the Norwegian way of life in the 1970s, but to the Norwegian film style of the 1970s, which is not exactly a compliment. And Trond Nilssen, who was so good in Kongen av Bastøy, never quite comes to life in the title role.