|Index||8 reviews in total|
25 out of 29 people found the following review useful:
An excellent drama with outstanding acting, 10 March 2011
Author: swefilmlover (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Sweden
This is a drama that almost sets you in a mode of physical pain
throughout the whole film session. The director Pernilla August lets
the viewer become a part of the private lives of the people you get to
know in this film in a way that's almost embarrassing. You just stand
there, watching their lives falling into pieces while the alcohol takes
over the control and you cry, not by sentimentality but a painful cry
by pity and compassion. You are not even able to hate the dreadful
father (Ville Virtanen) and the mother (Outi Mäenpää) letting this
happen to her children whom she loves.
Seeing these things through the grown up woman Leena (Noomi Rapace) gives you the distance that you need to be able to suffer this emotional torture. She has hidden these experiences deep inside of her, but a phone call from her dying mother confronts her with her dark past.
The young Leena is played by Tehilla Blad and she carries this film with the same depth and intensity as her elder alter ego Noomi Rapace does. Rapace is the star actress in this film but Blad's performance in this film is the biggest remaining impression I carry with me when I leave the theater. ALL the actors make an outstanding work. The acting in Beyond goes beyond many good films and there is no weak link, not even the young children. The continuity between the girl Leena and the women Leena is exceptional. Not primarily for their look but for their expression and how you can read their feelings and thoughts in their faces.
6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Perfect film about alcohol and related domestic violence. Well told story and believable acting gets us involved from begin to end, 13 November 2011
Author: JvH48 from Netherlands
I saw this film at Noordelijk Filmfestival 2011 (in Leeuwarden,
province of Friesland NL). It stood out between the rest as it gave the
audience a topic of discussion afterwards. Living proof could be heard
around while leaving the theater, where dialogs exceeded the usual
"What did you think? Good, and you?" platitudes with other films.
Apparently, it brings about memories, or at least something close
nearby. Clearly not an abstract issue from a different part of the
world, or what only happens to "not our kind of people". Apart from the
relevance of the issues involved, it was also presented in a believable
way and with real world characters. Not all of them were coping very
well with the problems at hand, but that is part of all real life
issues. I had every reason to score 5 (out of 5) stars for the audience
The story starts with a sudden phone call that Leena's dying mother asked for her. In spite of having lost all contact many years ago, their subsequent journey forces Leena to relive memories from her youth. Alcohol and related domestic violence had a severe impact on her life. She never has understood how her mother could get on with it, and accepted repeated promises from her husband that he would improve. Her mother also failed to take proper care for Leena's brother, mentally handicapped due to an "accident" caused by her father. We witness a lot of that misery via flash backs, showing the gory details, and partly explaining her current behavior. Eventually, the family was split up due to an intervention from social workers aided by the police. It rescued Leena from the immediate problems at that time, but obviously not from the severe impact it had on her life.
Towards her mother she is very defensive and unwilling to forgive anything that happened and spoiled her youth. When the mother asks to locate her husband, Leena brings an urn. Apparently he died without the mother knowing. Nevertheless, the mother lets Leena promise to arrange that they can "rest together", proving a tight relationship between the couple, in spite of everything. It defies our logic and Leena's, to say the least, but from newspaper articles we learn this to be not unusual.
The above is told in well dosed flash backs that interleave with what follows after the phone call that Leena got about her mother in hospital. It all starts with a 600 km journey, together with her husband and two children, to see her mother. Leena is very reluctant to take part in this trip, but her husband insists that it is only human to follow up on that call. After the four briefly speak with the mother in hospital, they decide to move into the mother's house for the time being. Of course, the objects in this house trigger many memories, and Leena does not cope very well in explaining her behavior to her husband and children. Rather than confiding her direct family in what happened during her childhood, she withdraws. This does not improve after some heavy meetings with her mother. Sudden outbursts are the result, mostly triggered by seemingly trivial things, like cloths discovered by her children in some wardrobe.
The script arranges above ingredients ingeniously, presenting it all in a logical order. It not only tells us step by step what we need to know about Leena's childhood, but also shows that Leena rather had let bygones be bygones. Explaining to her husband and children what happened in her childhood, is not something that comes easily. While being logical in our view to share your problems with people you trust most, it costs her too much pain to even consider bringing it in the open. Her withdrawn behavior combined with several unexplainable outbursts seem to stretch family relations beyond their limits (hence the title of this film??). I cannot tell you that all is well that ends well (to prevent spoilers).
All in all, I cannot think of any negative comments about this film. All actors, including the children, act believably and succeed in getting us involved in the characters, even in the "bad" ones (mind the quotes). The structure of the story is next to perfect. Finally, as said before, the amount of discussion it triggered among the audience, is an extra aspect for giving high praises to this film. You should add it to your "must see" list.
10 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Promising about a promise-lacking life, 18 December 2010
Author: stensson from Stockholm, Sweden
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A woman gets a phone call. Her mother is dying. Reluctantly she takes
the travel to see the mother and visits the apartment there she once
grew up. It was a childhood of alcohol and violence and humiliation.
There are hang-ups from childhood which follow some of us. Even if we've left the environment, it's still inside us and sometimes a person has to die, for us to get rid of that. This is what Svinalängorna is about.
Good acting by the Rapace couple and sensitive directing by Pernilla August. In the end, there's catharsis in a very intense scene. The price is payed. You can have your past inside you as something that built you, but it's not part of you anymore.
4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Through The Past Darkly, 28 January 2012
Author: johno-21 from United States
I recently saw this at the 2012 Palm Springs International Film Festival. Noted actress Pernilla August makes her feature film directorial debut and for her first time out gets Sweden's official entry to the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film consideration. Leena (Noomi Pace) is the daughter of Finnish immigrants to Sweden whose abusive and alcoholic father is long dead and her mother with whom she has an estranged relationship is in the hospital and dying. A series of flashbacks tell the story. Ville Virtanen is Leena's hard drinking, hard living father Kimmo. Outi Mäenpää is Leena's long suffering mother Aili who, despite all she put up with in her marriage, carries a life long love and sympathy for her husband. With Tehilla Blad is Leena as a child and Pace's real life husband Ola Rapace as Lenna's husband Johan. Based on the Susanna Alakoski novel with screenplay by August with Lolita Ray. Cinematography by Erik Molberg Hansen. This is a great cast and features great directing, cinematography, a good script and story and sound. It's a dark subject with spousal and alcohol abuse but not presented too darkly but very believably. I would give this an 8.5 out of 10 and recommend it.
4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Probably the best cinematic work on problem about alcoholism, 29 December 2011
Author: Amin Jacoub from Croatia
I saw so many movies regarding problem with alcoholism, especially
focused on family issues. I however myself treated with that problem
afraid to not become one (alcoholic), so I am very familiar with
alcoholism and problems that it cause in life, from first hand.
Even I saw at least all of the titles about alcoholism that were published in film industry, as well all of the documentaries, I never found one that reflects that problem in reality so well.
This movie have all of the important elements showing how alcoholism influence life and what consequences it brings.
Great performances, screenplay and cinematography brings great result as a complete product that shows how alcoholism destructs family life and how terrible traumas it left on the most situations in family life , and most important, the children.
The main character of the girl in this movie follows her life with that traumas and reflections in her adult life, while her strong nature (as her father stated in one scene) keep her to survive that horror, unlike her younger brother who could not.
The spoiling would not be inappropriate here, as I recommend it for the viewers to see it.
This is not just great movie for all of us and for our families, surrounded by that silent killer (alcohol) but as a reference to medical communities that deals with alcoholism and AA and other similar social groups that needs a materials for therapy issues.
Personally I would like more constructions on some issues in this movie, but I think it is enough as there are probably no any movie title that gave so close picture to the problem about alcoholism.
5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
a wonderful and powerful film, 10 August 2011
Author: filmbuff1000000 from United States
this film blew my mind. it tells the story of a woman with a very painful past and she gets a chance to confront her past and not allow it to become a part of her future. in an interview in Italy when she was discussing the girl with the dragon tattoo with director Neils Arden oplev she explained that its not good to feel sorry for your self and that we need should take all the bad things if any in our lives and take them out on someone else instead of letting it stay and grow inside. i agree and thats what we get to see in this film is a woman who gets to express her pain and confront her abusive mother who is dying in the hospital. i highly recommend this film. Also i have also read a few comments on whether or not Hollywood will change noomi rapace as a person. i don't think so because she seems very content with who she is and where she wants to take the direction of her career.
Swedish actress Ms.Pernilla August makes her début with a nice family film about mother/daughter relationship !!!!, 24 April 2013
Author: FilmCriticLalitRao (email@example.com) from Cinema of the world / World Cinema.
Films about mother/daughter relationships have always been popular with audiences as they enable a close assessment of ideas,opinions and sentiments with which most mothers and their daughters can be identified.As a film which belongs to "mother/daughter relationship" genre,Svinalängorna/ Beyond shows how the lives of a mother and her daughter are destroyed when alcohol wreaks havoc on their close-knit family.The audiences get to see how in a family with recurring scenes of husband/wife conflict, children suffer enormously as their childhood is annihilated.This film is based on a book written by author Susanna Alakoski who also tackles the plight of ordinary Finnish people in Sweden.Young Swedish actress Tehilla Blad is a joy to watch as the success of the entire film rests on her acting talent.Pernilla August,one of Swedish cinema's leading actresses makes her feature film début with this film which she jointly wrote with Lolita Ray.The influence of her mentor Swedish cinema maestro Ingmar Bergman can easily be discerned in all family scenes wherein efforts have been made to allow victims to express their opinions clear and loud.
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
"Deeply moving family drama...", 18 April 2012
Author: Sindre Kaspersen from Norway
Swedish actress and director Pernilla August's feature film debut which
she co-wrote with Swedish screenwriter Lolita Ray, was shot at Ystad
studio in Sweden and is an adaptation of a novel from 2006 by
Swedish-Finnish author Susanna Alakoski. It premiered in Sweden, was
shown at the 67th Venice Film Festival in 2010 and is a Swedish
production which was produced by Swedish director, screenwriter and
producer Ralf Karlsson and Swedish producer Helena Danielsson. It tells
the story about Leena, a thirty-four year old woman who is about to
celebrate Christmas with her husband Johan and their two young
daughters when she receives a call from Ystad county hospital. The
voice on the other end of the line is her mother Aili who she has not
seen or had any contact with in a long time. Talking her mother again
brings back memories from a past that Leena has carried with her since
the day she was separated from her younger brother Sakari, and when she
learns that her mother is dying, Leena has to travel back to the small
town where she grew up. As Leena's memories becomes more vivid, she
begins to show Johan and their children a part of herself that she has
Finely and engagingly directed by first-time director Pernilla August, this deeply moving family drama which is set against the backdrop of a town in Southern Sweden in the 1970s, draws an intimate, involving and afflicting portrayal of a woman, emotionally scarred by her childhood, who has to try reconciling with her mother who is terminally ill and a past marked by her parents turbulent relationship. While notable for it's naturalistic milieu depictions, the brilliant production design by Swedish production designer and art director Anna Asp and the fine cinematography by Swedish cinematographer Erik Molberg Hansen, this compassionate story depicts an incisive and internal study of character which examines themes like coming-of-age family relations, immigration, betrayal and class distinctions.
This finely tuned, moderately humorous and atmospheric psychological drama which was the Swedish submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards in 2011, is reinforced by the efficient narrative structure and the heartfelt and involving acting performances by Swedish actress Noomi Rapace, Swedish actor Ola Rapace, Swedish actress Tehilla Blad, Finnish actor, director and screenwriter Ville Virtanen and Finnish actress and screenwriter Outi Mäenpää. A humane and emotionally gripping independent film which gained, among other awards, the International Critic's Week Award at the 67th Venice Film Festival in 2010 and the Nordic Council Film Prize in 2011.
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