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Nicolai Cleve Broch,
Anders Baasmo Christiansen
It's November 1989, and the Berlin Wall is falling. In Stavanger, Norway, teenage boy Jarle has a great new girlfriend and is starting a rock band with his buddies. But when a new boy, the synth pop-listening Yngve, joins his class, Jarle is more fascinated than he wants to be, and the world as he knows it starts to crumble. Written by
Peter Brandt Nielsen
I saw this film without having read the book, and although it bears the clear feel of a book-adapted film, it works perfectly. It is generally the case that fans of books are disappointed with film adaptations, and so it is fair that some may dislike the film. However, the apparent lack of narrative (again, understandable from having read the book) is not something I personally noticed. The thought and feeling of the characters is conveyed through that beautiful idea that not everything has to be said - the silence of the characters, the unspoken lines, the long nothings, all resemble what it is like to be and think and feel in the far more incomprehensible reality than we usually see in films and hear in songs. All of the characters show great depth, and are cast perfectly - having never seen a Norwegian film before, it was a nice change, too.
The story itself was original, but simultaneously was perfect for something to relate to. Set in the late 80s - at the time of the collapse of the Berlin Wall - when music culture had a very strong influence, but where political and social values were uncertain, it creates a very suitable backdrop to a story about such uncertainty. The time period was represented very well in the film, with the soundtrack chosen very well. And then there was Fortapt, that beautiful song that Jarle Klepp writes.
My only criticism is that it was too short, and that the editing was a little off in places - the changes between emotionally contrasting scenes was too abrupt in places, and so created some confusion.
It doesn't quite trump The Shawshank Redemption, but Mannen Som Elsket Yngve can sit content as my second favourite film so far.
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