Epic story about two families and their friendship and common destiny in Sweden's Gothenburg in the 1940s and 1950s. Told from the perspective of young Simon Larsson, who learns that he's an adopted child who has a Jewish father from Germany. After WWII Simon travels to explore his roots - a journey that leads to the basic mysteries of the human life. After the bestselling novel by Marianne Fredriksson. Written by
Schmidtz Katze Filmkollektiv
When they visit the Berlin Jewish cemetery at the end, there is a headstone for someone who was murdered in a concentration camp. But there are no such headstones, as concentration camp victims' bodies were burned and disposed of in the camps, they weren't brought back to cemeteries for burial. See more »
Maybe I had too much expectations for this, but it was a pain to watch this to the end. I must first of all say that I haven't read the book of which this is based. I understand that this book is re-known, and I also understood that this was nominated to nothing less than 13 guldbaggar in Swedish film.
Well, that's not at all understandable to me. I tend to like films like this, but I'm afraid to say that this film is impossible to get hold of. It's pretentious, both in manuscript and in acting.But far worse is it that it becomes boring when the chemistry between the actors are missing.
What is likable, is Bill Skarsgård. He's the one coming from this alive, due to his charm, though the film can't seem to make the best out of it. Simon is not likable, if still charming. Maybe also with small Isak. A good actor, but not taken care of. I see this as helpless instruction of what must be fine actors to work with.
I tend to see it as Lisa Ohlin is not cut to make films like this. Both on screen writing and in directing this is very flawed. Overacted, constantly staring people is bad enough.
What's even worse is the sense of us not believing one bit of the story. It's too far fetched. It might have worked in the book, but in the film, when something gets remotely interesting, it's a cut into pieces. The clipping work is awful. It tears up what could have been a great scene. Like when Simon is confronting his parents. The next scene is him walking away from the little house with luggage on his bike.
Even more stupid is the thoughtful sequences, which are far-fetched, boring and badly done technically. The whole thing about the oak is also both pretentious and artsy fartsy. It makes you yawn and hate the concept.
What is good, is the environment and filming. Beautifully shot, it is, and so in vain, when the rest is not making up to it. I've read some quite good reviews for this one, but the critics must have been out to lunch. Such a waste. It's not a turkey, but rather a pheasant. I'd rather have chicken, any day.
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