Opening in a happy place - vivacious flirtation in one household, familial intimacy in another - this Dogme drama pivots on a shocking calamity that opens the gates to an adulterous affair, and its attendant fall-out. Left without his motor abilities, Joachim (Kaas) casts off his fiancée Cecilie (Richter), in anger or in sorrow. Forsaken, she takes comfort in the arms of Niels (Mikkelsen), a doctor at Joachim's hospital, whose wife Marie (Steen) unwittingly authored Joachim's tragedy. It's a schematic melodrama on paper, but the film's achievement, carried through from an intrepid screenplay to the consummate performances, lies in the conviction of its characterisation. Everyone has their emotions; no one is vilified or sanctified. Besides the de rigueur Dogme hand-held camerawork, Bier tries a couple of quite effective technical effects: grainy wish-fulfilment projections, thermogram street shots of Copenhagenites by night. The accompanying Dido-esque mood music is a little over-easy, but illustrates the sort of romantic fluff Cecilie still fills her head with - which in turn raises the nub of the tale: in the wise words of Pat Garrett, 'What you want, and what you get, are two different things.' Unless, this once, you're in the market for a savvy relationships drama.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Anders Thomas Jensen|
Nikolai Lie Kaas