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Flies on the Wall (2005)
"Fluerne på væggen" (original title)

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My Larsen is a documentarian in her early thirties. Self-centered and assertive, she likes to challenge and provoke her surroundings. She takes on an unusual assignment to make a film about... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
My Larsen
...
Sven Balder
Kurt Ravn ...
Arne Thorsen
Henrik Prip ...
Peter Friis
Lars Ranthe ...
Journalist
Ida Dwinger ...
Receptionist
Mogens Rex ...
Berggren
Elsebeth Steentoft ...
Helle Tesch
Svend Johansen ...
Mogens
Finn Storgaard ...
Mandlig kollega
Anette Katzmann ...
Kvindelig kollega
Claus Flygare ...
Kulturredaktør
Jeppe Kaas ...
Ekskæreste
Karina Skands ...
Louise
Mads Knarreborg ...
Allan
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Storyline

My Larsen is a documentarian in her early thirties. Self-centered and assertive, she likes to challenge and provoke her surroundings. She takes on an unusual assignment to make a film about the conservative township of Ravnsborg, but she learns there is a dark side to life in this small town. Someone is trying to cover up a terrible secret and they will stop at nothing, even murder, to keep My from discovering the truth. Written by Anonymous

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Thriller

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12 August 2005 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Flies on the Wall  »

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User Reviews

 
What a confused movie
14 August 2005 | by (Copenhagen, Denmark) – See all my reviews

"Fluerne på væggen" is the latest release of director Åke Sandgren, who is perhaps best known for giving us the amusing and profound dogma movie "Et Rigtigt Menneske" (2001). This movie purports to be of the political thriller variety which at least in Denmark has been given a new lease of life with last year's blockbuster success "Kongekabale".

"Fluerne på væggen" follows the story of My Larsen (Trine Dyrholm), a distinguished director of documentary movies who finds herself in the middle of an identity crisis. My is contacted by an ex, now working as a spin doctor for major political party "Venstre", who wants her to produce a documentary about "the human face of politics" to promote the party in the coming election. The idea is that My is sent out to cover the political life of a model local council run by Venstre mayor Svend Balder (Lars Brygmann).

Through a variety of maneuvers including the use of hidden cameras and employing her sexuality for personal gain she gradually discovers how all is not as it seems under the professional exterior of the model city council. At the same time however she finds herself being drawn into a personal involvement in the conflict leading to potentially fatal consequences for herself and her acquaintances.

Comparing "Fluerne på Væggen" to "Kongekabale", which I liked, I find several major weakness with this movie. First of all, I find none of the actors to be particularly convincing in their representation of their characters. There is a certain aura of awkwardness whenever a character utters a sentence.

Lars Brygmann in my view presents far too introvert an attitude to be credible as the charming yet dominant sociopath, he is supposed to represent. He practically only ever speaks when spoken to and seems to lack a pro-active attitude of his own. Lars Brygmann's strong side is in portraying anxiousness not manipulation. Unfortunately, the latter is what this role requires.

The romance that evolves between the two leading characters appears to me wholly implausible. Apart from their sexual relationship the only emotional basis upon which it is founded is a brief conversation between them, where the mayor claims that honesty and truth are not necessarily the same. To 'demonstrate' this he calls his wife from the hotel room where he has just had an extra-marital affair and lies to her about how he is lying in bed at the hotel room thinking about her naked. This apparently leads to My reflecting for herself that 'he makes me feel safe'.

My's actions and decisions throughout the movie appear poorly considered and mostly a result of outside events to which she reacts emotionally. At no point in the plot does one get the impression that My is anything other than a pawn of events introduced by other actors.

In general the plot fails to convey the intense, cynical rationality or passion that one would expect to be the essential drivers in a political thriller. The actions of the dominant actors appear to be random, emotionally driven yet without any believable portrayal of the emotional base behind the characters motivation. To top it off the movie seems to lack faith in the suspense potential of its own genre choosing to revert to become more of an action drama throughout the later part of the movie. The conspiracy which the plot centers around is poorly sketched and it seems to me the director has been satisfied to project the impression that this guy has done something bad rather than delve into the substance of why this is bad, who does it affect and what do the ones affected do to try and avert the impact of the decision. Perhaps this is because of a superficial understanding of the political decision making process and how it may be perverted on the side of the scriptwriter. The end result is that "Fluerne på væggen" becomes not so much a political thriller but rather a confused and endless sequence of scenes shot with a hand-held camera in hotel rooms, cars and conference rooms.

The use of a hand-held camera and the sometimes physical struggle between various characters to edit the documentary seems to underline a point that the truth in politics depends not so much on honesty but on who is sits at the editing table. This may be an interesting point but it would be better served by a drama centered around a more clear cut conflict of interests between dominant actors with a firm set of convictions and motivations.


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