When his mother, who has sheltered him his entire 40 years, dies, Elling, a sensitive, would-be poet, is sent to live in a state institution. There he meets Kjell Bjarne, a gentle giant and... See full summary »
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Anders Thomas Jensen
Nikolaj Lie Kaas,
Based on the true childhood experiences of Noah Baumbach and his brother, The Squid and the Whale tells the touching story of two young boys dealing with their parents' divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s.
When his mother, who has sheltered him his entire 40 years, dies, Elling, a sensitive, would-be poet, is sent to live in a state institution. There he meets Kjell Bjarne, a gentle giant and female-obsessed virgin in his 40s. After two years, the men are released and provided with a state-funded apartment and stipend with the hope they will be able to live on their own. Initially, the simple act of going around the corner for groceries is a challenge. Through a friendship born of desperate dependence, the skittish Elling and the boisterous, would-be lover of women, Kjell Bjarne, discover they can not only survive on the outside, they can thrive. But as their courage grows, the two find oddball ways to cope with society, striking up the most peculiar friendships in the most unlikely places. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Sven Nordin who played one of the leading roles in this movie gained 25 pounds to fit the character he was playing. See more »
[Ticket ordering continued]
Train ticket salesman:
That'll be 130 kroner per ticket.
130 kroner? The last time mother and I took the train to Larvik the ticket cost 25.
Train ticket salesman:
That must have been about 30 years ago.
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This is the main theme of the film: Hold on to your dream and never give up in life.
I think Per Christian Ellefsen's performance as Elling was pretty much the best acting I've seen in my life. Sven Nordin reminds a little bit of Gerard Depardieu, and the character he plays reminds a tiny bit of Lenny of "Of Mice And Men" but more intelligent.
It's the story of two men who are apparently too old to start their "own" lives, but virtually have to do so by all means as a result of their lives up to date. Neither of them is substantially retarded or mad, just a little bit over-eccentric which makes things harder for them. One day, the competent authorities of the Norwegian government decide to release them from their "captivity" in the institution, and give them a chance to live a "real life" on their very own, and social worker Frank is there to assist them. It won't be easy for the two socially-impaired men, but it will turn out to be easier and nicer than they (especially Elling) fear.
The rest is for you to watch in the film. And by all means, watch it! Per Christian Ellefsen's acting is absolutely fascinating, and everything is well put in the scenario. A beautiful film from a beautiful country.
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