Time Out saysAlex (Nikolaj Lie Kaas), a Copenhagen photographer, already finds it difficult to tell his lover Aimée (Maria Bonneville) how he feels about her, so it’s perhaps hardly surprising when he sees, follows, seduces and falls for Simone (Bonneville again), the beautiful wife of August (Krister Henriksson), a successful novelist (who may also be the narrator of this movie). Whatever, it’s an encounter of some consequence; having spent the night with Simone, Alex wakes to find his world in chaos. Where does he live? Why doesn’t Aimée – or, for that matter, his friends – recognise him any more? Is he mad, or simply madly in love? Is Simone the cause of his turmoil, or will she cure him of it? What, indeed, is real, and what imaginary?
What’s it all about, Boe? Actually, you probably won’t have a clue by the film’s end, but don’t let that bother you too much, because the Danish director’s taut and tortuous script (co-written with Mogens Rukov) – a mix of noir suspense, twisted romance and enigmatic musings on love, desire, dreams, life, art, suffering, storytelling etc – still makes for engrossing entertainment. He’s helped by vivid performances (with Bonneville somehow transcending various male-fantasy clichés, especially those written into Simone’s character) and by Manuel Alberto Caro’s marvellously moody cinematography, which turns the Danish capital into a magical, if faintly unsettling, city of the mind. Yes, it’s all a bit tricksy, flashy even, but it’s never less than intelligent fun, and the bracing boldness, however insistent, surely warrants praise.
Fri Nov 12, 2004