October 27, 2010

Scandinavian Film Festival - Day 4- Cold Lunch, The Kautokeino rebellion & Let the right one in

Day four of the festival and today I see three movies, two of them were great, here are the quick reviews....(Note: sorry I didnt update yesterday but I was too tired to type the reviews)

Director: Eva Sørhaug
Cast: Ane Dahl Torp, Pia Tjelta, Aksel Hennie, Bjørn Floberg
Writers: Per Schreiner
Music: Bugge Wesseltoft
Production: Norway, 2008
Release Date: 1 February 2008 (Norway)
Runtime: 90 Minutes
Original Name: Lønsj
IMDB Link: Cold Lunch
Trailer: Cold Lunch

Some people believe that we all live our life without affecting others, that our actions have no repercussion over people. Others, like me believe that we can affect the life of other people. This is the main theme of the movie. Christer (27) will suffer an incident and without knowing, he will set the wheels in motion to impact the life of others. Levi (40) a woman who has lived her life completely isolated from the outside will discover that the real world is friendlier that the TV or the radio picture every day. Heidi (30) a young mother is under a very neurotic relationship with her husband Odd (30). It has reached the point where she blames herself for everything that goes wrong. When she gets the possibility to break the cycle she decides to come back to him, letting us know that she prefers to be with someone than been alone. However, this decision of becoming a better wife will bring some terrible consequences. On the background, we have the story of Kildahl (55) a  very hard working man that have an invalid wife, but despite this situation he tries to continue living as nothing happened, although his wife dislike him and the wheel chair she is stuck in. Finally, we have Turid (55) a woman who does not see that been single has its price and that her career has come to a halt long time ago.

This multi-narrative drama about five people, who live in the same block in Oslo, was very hard to analyze. As the movie finished I had mixed emotions. My first thought was that the movie was a joke, the story was pointless and the ending was shallow but after a nice cup of coffee and a sandwich, I started to think more and more about the movie. And you know what? I love the movie. The English title for the movie is excellent (Cold Lunch). Have you ever ordered a hot meal but when you tasted you notice that it was cold? Well that´s how you will feel after the movie, at first you won’t like it. I think the movie is supposed to show life as it is with the usual questioning of been alone. The wrong idea of been better with someone you don’t love rather than staying alone. The feeling that the world is a dangerous place, typical self-defense mechanism of not seen reality as it is, because it can be hurtful. This are all things that the movie will develop in the plot. I would not recommend this movie to people that don’t want to see some real life problems. Nevertheless, it’s definitely a movie to take a look.

Director: Nils Gaup
Cast: Anni-Kristiina Juuso, Aslat Mahtte Gaup, Mikkel Gaup, Nils Peder Gaup
Writers: Nils Isak Eira, Nils Gaup, Reidar Jönsson, Pelone Wahl
Production: Denmark, Norway, Sweden, 2008
Release Date: 18 January 2008 (Norway)
Runtime: 96 Minutes
Original Name: Kautokeino-opprøret
IMDB Link: The Kautokeino rebellion
Trailer: The Kautokeino rebellion

The Sami, a native population of northern Scandinavia, will face the modernization of their culture by the Norwegian Government. The village of Keutokeino is overruled by the prosperous and ruthless liquor dealer names Ruth, who got all the natives drinking his alcohol and buying his goods at high price. One day a native called Elen refuse to pay their unjust debt to Ruth and start telling everybody that alcohol was the seed of the devil (They were under the influence of the Catholic Church). Seen that his store was going to break Ruth decides to pull some strings to bring a new pastor to Keutokeino. This new pastor got everybody scare of him. After a while, some men from Elen´s tribe question the presence of the new pastor but they were jailed for assaulting the pastor. Elen´s decides to claim for a new trail and the men are released, Ruth claims ownership of the tribe´s reindeers to cover the cost of the trial. Losing the basis of the economic, the reindeer, she and her tribe have the little choose to oppose to Ruth´s claim, leading to the first violent assault of the Sami people to the Norwegian Government.

My first thought about this movie was this was going to be another “Brave hart” type of film but instead it was less entertaining. Don’t get me wrong the movie is watchable but because I know so little about the topic and I’m from another country, I had the same feeling when I watched “The Patriot”. The good thing about this movie is that Mikael Persbrandt is in it, he is a great actor that was able to portrait this very ruthless and violent alcohol dealer. The rest of the cast is good. The movie has some great scenes of northern Scandinavia.

Director: Tomas Alfredson
Cast: Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar, Henrik Dahl
Writer: John Ajvide Lindqvist (novel and Screenplay)
Music: Johan Söderqvist
Production: Sweden, 2008
Release Date: 26 January 2008 (Sweden)
Runtime: 115 Minutes
Original Name: Låt den rätte komma in
IMDB Link: Let the right one in
Trailer: Let the right one in
Oskar is a 12-year old boy who lives with his mother (Yvonne) in the western Stockholm suburb of Blackeberg. He is a shy and lonely boy that usually is bullied at school; therefore, he spent most of his evenings imagining revenge. One night he meets Eli, a young girl who have just moved into the neighborhood with a man named Håkan. Eli tells Oskar that they cannot be friends but over the days they begging to form a close relationship. The discovery of two bodies will make the neighbors to suspect from the little girl. Soon Oskar will understand who Eli truly is.

I didn’t wanted to see this movie because I not a big fan of horror movies, specially with those who relay too much on the scary jumps. However, I was wrong with “Let the right one in”. This Swedish romantic horror film is a masterpiece. You will start to be scare from the beginning as the atmosphere of the first minutes is very well constructed.  I didn’t read the novel but when I research material for this review it said that there are something that the movie didn’t show or explore, now this was because the director, Tomas Alfredson, was unfamiliar with the horror and vampire genres. He decided to tone down many elements and focus primarily on the relationship between Oskar and Eli. Which I think was a smart move, because the important thing here is the way Oskar falls in love with Eli and how she repulse her instincts to hurt Oskar. The movie manages to pull some great dark jokes and many scary scenes. You should definitely get some free time to see this movie.

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