Saturday, June 7, 2014
AFTER THE WEDDING (2006)
Directed & Story By: Susanne Bier
Written By: Anders Thomas Jensen
Cinematography By: Morten Soborg
Editor: Morten Hojbjerg & Pernille Bech Christensen
Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Rolf Lassgard, Sidse Babbett Knudsen
Jacob Petersen has dedicated his life to helping street children in India. When the orphanage he heads is threatened by closure, he receives an unusual offer. A Danish businessman, Jørgen, offers him a donation of $4 million dollars. There are, however, certain conditions... Not only must Jacob return to Denmark, he must also take part in the wedding of Jørgen's daughter. The wedding proves to be a critical juncture between past and future and catapults Jacob into the most intense dilemma of his life.
This film can be good in some really piercing moments of emotional scenes.
The film as a whole however is just an over consumption of melodrama. It seems just as we are dealing with one revelation and the drama from it. Another situation comes along and tries to top it and tip out attention away. Then once the film gets to dealing with the singular situation and the fall out that is heart wrenching, though puts a definite closure to the situation. We are reminded we still have quite a few more to go through. Soon it all gets to be a bit much and way too fast
I will give the move credit that through it all. It feels emotionally truthful. The performances are spot on perfect. Mads Milkkelsen impresses me with each role that I see him in. Truly showing a versatility, but getting little credit in the film works at large except recently for his performance as the psychopath Dr. HANNIBAL Lecter on the TV series HANNIBAL.
This film is not guilty of emotional manipulation in a false sense, however it is guilty of obviously true to provoke emotions out of the viewer ad it succeeds. It truly didn't have to try so hard a any of the many revelations would have been good enough for any feature film.
In the past Suzanne bier films have worked from the fall out of a simple decision or situation watching how it affects the characters loves and causes a domino effect. For them that leads to unexpected places with emotional highs and lows. Usually presenting an either or decision but examining the consequences.
Here she has frequent collaborator Anders Thomas Jensen stack the deck so much that there can't be the domino effect because as each one falls they are put up again only to be knocked down again and that's not exactly a domino showcase you want to see, you want to see them fall until the end. Hopefully making a spectacular show of it.
At a showing at a film festival two of the reels had been switched by a mistake, making a part of the film out of place. Apparently the majority of the audience didn't notice and was generally very enthusiastic about the movie despite the narrative being mixed up.
It's a good film worth watching, but of you are a regular viewer of Susanne bier films. You have seen her do this kind of film which is her usual style done better and more simply. I understand each time out maybe you want to impress the audience with more of a show, bigger and more complex, but here you run into the risk of overstating. It's just too much and brings you out of the film and it's situations.
If an emotional drama that questions and challenges morals is your thing. Then this is the film for you