At their 25th high-school anniversary some bourgeois citizens remember their time in school as a happy one. In reality it was quite the contrary. The school was a madhouse in which the ... See full summary »
Denmark, 1961. Bjørn, a middle-class boy in his early teens, wants to be accepted by Steen, a bullying peer of his with wealthy but freezingly cold parents. Bjørn's other good friend is ... See full summary »
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Anders W. Berthelsen,
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At their 25th high-school anniversary some bourgeois citizens remember their time in school as a happy one. In reality it was quite the contrary. The school was a madhouse in which the teachers, especially Blomme, tormented the students. As a result one of them became a murderer. Written by
Great film, but marred by the same things as all other pieces of Danish cinema
I haven't read the novel behind this film, but I'm told that the storyline and tone is followed fairly well. The plot is very good, and the pacing is above par for a Danish film. The acting is nearly flawless, with few exceptions. The characters are well-written and credible, though that may have more to do with the author of the novel than anyone who worked on the film itself. The film is great in many ways, but I somehow can't really bring myself to completely love it, or even remember it. I saw it for the second time, after having seen it a year earlier, and I couldn't remember any of it. Normally, something, anything makes an impact on me emotionally and I can recall it a long time after. But on this one, nothing had me remembering. There was a good deal of 'oh yeah, that's what happened' but no 'ah, and what happens now is...' Nothing. Not even a detail, a line of dialog, a sound... nothing. I think the problem is that this is struck by the same thing as most, if not all, other Danish films... a lack of creativity, a love of keeping things simple and obvious. Nothing is hinted at, there are no fine lines or symbolisms in the background. Everything is forced down our throats and subtlety is given the cold shoulder. There are several scenes that are awfully misdirected and the editing is terribly rough in many places. Scenes that play out like mystery/tension scenes leave the viewer bored due to us already knowing how they will end. Also, the humor of the film seems to be desperately sprayed all over the whole project, supposedly to make it easier to sit through(although it serves more as a distraction from the serious drama in the film). All in all, it's worth watching, and probably good for a brief discussion or analyzing, but nothing more. A film that is quickly forgotten, maybe you're simply better off reading the book. I recommend it to Danes that either don't have access to the book or just don't care to read it, but don't wish to miss the story and the great themes to it. I don't believe anyone else should bother, though. 8/10
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