Kresten has moved from his parents farm on a small Danish island to Copenhagen in order to pursue his working career. When his father dies he has to move back to the farm, where nothing ... See full summary »
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It's night on a Paris bridge. A girl leans over Seine River with tears in her eyes and a violent yearning to drown her sorrows. Out of nowhere someone takes an interest in her. He is Gabor,... See full summary »
Kresten has moved from his parents farm on a small Danish island to Copenhagen in order to pursue his working career. When his father dies he has to move back to the farm, where nothing much has happened since he left. He places an add in the local newspaper to get help running the farm and taking care of his retarded brother. The whore Liva, who is running away from annoying telephone calls, answers it. But running away from your past isn't easy. Written by
Terrific acting and mesmerising locations make this an easy movie to love. Denmark's hazy, almost dreamy summer light lends a touch of magic to this tale of a prodigal son's enforced return.
The main characters are exquisitely drawn. Berthelsen plays newlywed Copenhagen yuppie Kresten, who has denied the very existence of his family in far-off (or so he thought) Lolland. Rud, his retarded brother, is brought to us with great sensitivity and charm in a show-stealing performance by Jesper Asholt. Iben Hjejle sparkles as Liva, a city prostitute with steadily mounting problems, many of which can be traced directly to her brattish younger brother Bjarke, for whom she seems to have assumed parental responsibility.
Before long (and to nobody's great surprise), we see these two pairs of siblings brought crashing together by life's twists and turns. Kresten is summoned back to Lolland in the middle of his honeymoon by news of his father's death. He soon sees that Rud is incapable of looking after himself and is forced to stay on temporarily in Lolland.
His advertisement for a housekeeper attracts Liva's attention just as she finally wears out her welcome in Copenhagen. Bjarke lasts about five minutes in the big city without her, and soon follows her to Lolland.
The interplay between these makeshift cohabitees is wonderful, particularly Rud's relationships with Kresten and Bjarke. Endless summer evenings spent in Lolland's rural idyll with these four for company will soon have you believing in crop circles and cellar-dwelling samurai heroes.
On the back of some audacious tricks to get us this far, Kragh-Jacobsen delivers a transcendent hour or so in the middle of this film that reminds me of just why I love the cinema so much.
Having created this beautiful, shimmering landscape (both emotional and physical), and reminded us that love for your family - and perhaps, in a special way, your siblings - is its own reward, the movie finds it has nowhere particular left to go. There are supporting characters - some of them reasonably well-formed, others not - but once our quartet is established and the relationships between them start to blossom, any involvement from outsiders is unwelcome, unfulfilling and only likely to bring trouble.
It's no spoiler, for I mean it purely in structural terms, when I say that we are brought to a bumpy and unsatisfying ending to this ride through the lives of four people we soon grow to care a great deal about.
For me, though, despite its shortcomings, Mifune was a beautiful movie that I'm sure I'll watch again, many times.
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