After the Wedding (15)
Time Out says
Fri Oct 27 2006Bond villain Mads Mikkelsen makes for a brooding, arresting presence as Mumbai-based aid worker Jacob in Susanne ‘Open Hearts’ Bier’s latest drama, but the acting honours must go to Swedish actor Rolf Lassgård as Jørgen, the assertive Copenhagen billionaire who demands a rendezvous in Denmark as the condition for a possible massive donation to Jacob’s orphanage. There’s a price to pay, too, for Bier’s affecting, tensely dramatic and quietly explosive melodramas.
She favours rather contrived scenarios (this one penned by Anders Thomas Jensen, writer of Bier’s ‘Brothers’) which can be forgiven as formal structures within which she can play out, with considerable sensitivity, intuition and dramatic fluency, emotional confrontations, ethical and moral oppositions and domestic and familial revelations. Here, Jacob has his arm twisted to attend the wedding of Jørgen’s daughter Anna (a convincingly immature and open-hearted Stine Fischer Christensen) to a possibly venal employee of Jørgen’s – an event at which discomforting recognitions take place, old ghosts rise and buried emotions surface.
Bier’s interest in disorientation and intimacy is successfully mirrored by her cinematographer Morten Søborg’s ever-mobile camera, with its kissing-distance close-ups; in the jump cuts you can just detect the half-life of her Dogme origins. Far clumsier are her attempts to add Mephistopholean menace and minatory mystery or explore the paradoxes of economic disparity, charity or paternity. At heart, Bier is an actor’s director, and it’s the uniformly fine performances she engenders from her cast that make ‘After the Wedding’ as satisfying as it is.
Author: Wally Hammond
Fri Mar 9, 2007