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Sons More at IMDbPro »Sønner (original title)

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29 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

Impressing add to Norwegian filmography

10/10
Author: espressomaskin from Norway
28 September 2006

Sønner is another proof that the Norwegian film industry is growing to a respectable level. In Sønner we get to know Lars and his discovery of a older man's abuse of young boys. His reaction and how he confronts the issue evolves to be a brutal conflict, seen as assaulter by the police, and as heroes by the public.

The movie is at some level disgusting, but a realistic portray of a 25 year old man's revenge and hostility against pedophiles. Excellent acting by somewhat unknown actors, and commitment by difficult roles as a pedophile, and the abused. The script is beautifully written as we begin to sympathize for all parts.

An impressing contribution to the Norwegian filmography.

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21 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Go Norway!

7/10
Author: nyx90 from Sweden
28 May 2007

I don't know when or how it happened, but recently I have been beginning to look toward Norway for good films, and it hasn't been in vain.

As in Sönner, where a completely unknown director (for me anyways) get a bunch of even more unknown actors together and the result isn't bad at all. Au contraire it is actually a pretty good movie.

Usually we are used to see pretty light, or feel-good movies like Elling, Fritt Vildt and Himmelfall, but here we are taken straight down into the darkness and a subject that we all have strong feelings about, pedophilia.

The protagonist, a young pool-guard, one day just put down his foot and says "Enough", a bit like Michael Douglas in Falling Down, when he suspect a pedophile in the pool. The result is excellent. The actor really pulls it off, with just the right amount of anger and frailness, and his presence is world class. The interacting between his character and the prostitute that lives next door is top.

I really hope that I will discover more of these Norwegian diamonds when I keep looking west. I confess, I do believe Norway has passed Sweden when it comes to making good and unexpected movies.

I will keep a look out for more movies from Erik Richter Strand and will definitely keep my eyes open for Nils Jörgen Kallstad

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15 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

An Emotional Sledge Hammer!

10/10
Author: conlaw from Canada
18 November 2007

This movie is a psychological thriller focusing on the emotional crises created by pedophilia. While the subject matter may be distasteful, even disgusting, to some, this movie is an important contribution that depicts there is a very fuzzy line between good and evil. The movie rightly points out that the pedophile is not the only villain. He shares that platform with people who by not caring aid and abet the crime. Largely absent parents who don't care enough to screen who babysits a child, community services that turn a blind eye to what is obviously there, our social control mechanisms such as schools, police and child welfare organizations that are perceived as punitive all share responsibility for child abuse.

The title "Sons" tells us how children become emotionally trapped in what their adolescent mind perceives as love and consent. How with years the torment builds and explodes shows us the tragic consequences. The movie through its characters traces the destruction caused by molestation and reveals the toxic shame that emerges in adult life because of it.

The director is brand new but if future works are as cleverly crafted as this, he has a bright future. The cast is entirely believable.

This movie does not (nor does it intend to) delve into the mystery of pedophilia nor its possible treatment. It does give one pause to re-examine the knee-jerk attitude of moral indignation when we hear of its happening and asks us to examine if we care enough to watch what is going on about us.

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

A thoughtful examination of a disturbing topic

8/10
Author: ksandness from United States
24 September 2009

Our first glimpse of the main character, Lars, who works at a public swimming pool during the day and robs the departing customers of his prostitute neighbor (with her consent) by night, gives us the impression that he is just an amoral slacker.

But we soon learn a possible reason for his cynicism and usually flat affect when he spots a man at the swimming pool and is certain that the man is the one who sexually abused him when he was a child. He notes that the pedophile appears to be in the process of luring another boy into sexual abuse. Lars tried to warn the potential victim, but the boy is lonely and neglected and actually welcomes the man's attentions, which have not yet gone beyond friendliness.

When the authorities can't or won't do anything about the lurking pedophile, Lars and his friends decide to take vigilante action against him and any other pedophiles they hear about. Things quickly get out of hand...

What gives this film its depth is the complex characterizations. One sometimes wonders how pedophiles can not only attract children but keep them in their clutches over long periods of time. This film tries to answer that question. The pedophile here is no cartoon monster, but a slight, soft-spoken, well-groomed man who looks perfectly respectable and acts perfectly respectable in public. He rationalizes his actions by telling himself and others that he's the only one who "loves" the boys, and the victims, in turn, are so desperate for attention and approval that they put up with his molestation. You end up both feeling repulsed by the pedophile and understanding a bit more about his mindset.

I won't give away the ending, which includes a extremely clever example of letting the audience know what is happening without showing it directly, and a sadly unforgettable last line.

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

And they do it again!

9/10
Author: Carlos Martinez Escalona from Mexico
18 October 2010

Music. Lighting. Cinematography. Direction. Acting. Locations. Mood. Theme. Plot. Turns. Lights Out!!!!! This is a film to be regarded as one of the most thoughtful and daring when dealing with pederasty.

As always (in my subconscious film-maker), Norway is on the top list of best films. Sweden may be the second country to deal so well with such difficult subject matter (and with film-making, that's it).

Sønner is breathtaking, endearing, fearful, tearful, shocking and outstandingly well written. When I think about Scandinavian films, this one comes to my mind as many other Finnish or Swedish films from the late 2000's first decade.

The psychological drama you will witness from the very first minutes of Sønner, will leave you thinking why are there so few films in Hollywood to push the boundaries of the usual line so hard. Sønner takes the routine in Hollywood, with just a simple concoction, to a different and new level and, mind you, with just 1/100th of the budget!

I shouldn't compare these worlds, but I can't refrain. I've just witnessed one of the most gruesome mistakes (maybe I've seen another hundred of them) in "Låt den rätte komma in's" remake.

The American film industry (not the independent world) should stay away from trying to do better. They just can't.

Sønner is a beautiful and disturbing film. It simply does the job of telling a story and, in the way, it jerks our feelings, our stances on some very difficult subjects, and rips apart our hearts when the puzzle is solved.

Nils Jørgen Kaalstad is superb in his role. Mikkel Bratt Silset will make you shiver and cry. The rest of the cast is first-rate.

What Erik Richter Strand did with his script (and Thomas Torjussen's) is amazing.

Watch Sporløs, his first film... you'll get what this guy is into.

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11 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Raw and brutal examination of a controversial topic

Author: Gordon-11 from Earth
6 April 2007

This film is about a lifeguard's self imposed mission to stop a paedophile from exploiting teenage boys.

The film is emotionally captivating. The story itself is about a controversial topic, and the portrayal is raw and and relentless. The argument by the pool between Lars and his boss is particularly memorable. It shows how some people in the society chooses to turn a blind eye to such tragic abuse. It also shows how victims are manipulated by the paedophile, as we can see towards the end of the film. It also shows how righteous people can be exploited, as Lars got exploited by the prostitute.

It also reminds us how most victims chooses to remain silent, and not stand up against the paedophiles even if they had the chance. It also examines conscience and morality. As the paedophile commented that the boys were all willing, does it make him less evil? How do we decide what's good or bad? I think this film can provoke the thoughts of people who have not been giving this topic much thoughts.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Chasing Justice, Hiding Secrets

7/10
Author: Troye Dchgl from Hong Kong
15 April 2012

Sønner presents us a profound controversy of doing what is right and hiding what is wrong. Starting at a subtle tone the movie establishes the theme and the story by introducing the mid-aged man who has been having sexual relationships with teenage boys in the neighborhood. Lars, a 25-year-old who works at a swimming pool as a lifeguard, has the intention of bringing this man to justice.

As the secret unfolds, which I won't spoil here, the twist inserts a different layer into the film, unraveling a more personal story. Often in movies do the characters find themselves reluctantly between seeking justice and maintaining a secret. The conflict arises when only one can be done.

Actors have given outstanding performances as the plot nears its climax. Overall, the performances are beautiful and realistic.

It's all about what to believe and whether you are afraid, and thus, what to choose. The fear of exposing a secret is well depicted, and the actions that follow are reasonably organized in a way the film can truly be viewed as a real-life experience. That adds to both to the storytelling and the sentimental values of Sønner.

In another viewpoint, the movie is also about hesitation, and letting go of and accept the past. It is also about revenge and anger, which give the film an emotional angle that attracts the audience.

Sønner is a beautifully directed and acted movie. Its captivation lies in its realistic portrayal, and also in its organization and message. The theme is undoubtedly dark but it is still a gem to enjoy.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Another Scandinavian Gem

8/10
Author: longorange from Australia
8 June 2011

Really good film I caught late one night on SBS television in Australia. Was flicking around and randomly saw this was about to start. Having just watched 'Let the Right One In' I thought I'd give another Scandinavian film a shot. So glad I did.

A genuine thriller that deals with some pretty unsavoury themes. The lead actor gives a great performance, as do the neighbour and his best friend Jørgen.

Also thought the final few shots of the film were fantastic. Great filmmaking. No words, but they told so much. Definitely give this one a try!

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