It's been nearly forty years since Robert Altman first popularized the 'multiple storyline' film. This genre highlights the interrelationships of multiple characters who navigate through intricate plot lines. If done correctly, each characterization or narrative will enhance and strengthen an overall theme, and create an organic synergy. More recently, Paul Thomas Anderson has directed films which have utilized this technique. CHLOROX, AMMONIA,AND COFFEE, a Norwegian film directed by Mona J. Hoel, is a lesser attempt at this type of film making. Several disparate narratives connect, repel, and finally implode in a big city hospital. The climax seems a bit contrived as we witness Birth, Marriage, Death, Extreme Violence, and Casual Sex metaphorically paraded before us in the halls of this hospital in Lillestrom, Norway. Maybe it lost something in the translation, but I found the individual story lines a bit preposterous, and hard to accept. The young teenage girl's drug habit seemed unreal, the grandmother's alienation seemed undeveloped, and the crumbling marriage lacked depth or background. And, are trampolines really that popular in Norway? Overall the film was worth a look, but if you really want to understand this type of film, check out Altman's NASHVILLE, or Paul Thomas Anderson's MAGNOLIA. A Hair Under Three Stars.
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