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Pål Sverre Hagen,
Ellen Dorrit Petersen
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It's not easy to rebel when your dad wants to join the party... One day (in 1979), Magnus and his son Nikolaj hit the wall in their new terrace house in Rykkinn. Magnus is an architect, hippie and free spirit, a glaring exception in a community where equality and conformity is the norm. He always stands up for his son, supporting him unconditionally, even when Nikolaj decides to stop giving a damn. SONS OF NORWAY is a film about rebellion, punk rock, suburban hell and the struggle between freaks and punks. But most of all, it's the story of an unusual father-son relationship, and about the strength of the bonds we sometimes do our best to rip apart. Written by
Sons of Norway is the charming story about young Nicolaj growing up in a suburb of Oslo in the late seventies, when punk rock is the hottest thing. Nicolaj is loved, but later on he is not noticed the way he usually was. What's even worse is, that when he does his best to get a negative reaction, he gets support he really doesn't need.
It's not easy, being Nicolaj. He's fascinated by Sex Pistols and gets Johnny Rotten as his guiding star - to hate everything. All with support. Is it possible to make an uproar when all you get is support?
Jens Lien (Director of The bothersome man and Johnny Wang) has made another interesting story of maladjusted men in Norway. This time he goes back to the late seventies to describe a period in the life of Nicolaj, based upon the biographically inspired novel "Teori & Praksis" by Nicolaj Frobenius.
It's done well. Lien knows how to interest the viewer. the casting is great, and the actors are all doing a great job. There's lots of laughs, especially around the mad and free spirited father. Sven Nordin is perfect in his role. as is Åsmund Høeg as Nicolaj. The time capsulizing of the late seventies is great, until Johnny Rotten himself turns up in a dream, playing himself in a cameo - obviously 30 years older than he is at the time. Fun to have him there - but maybe CGI would have helped a little here?
The film is very enjoyable, but still I really feel the film ends up in no conclusion. Great plot, but where does that leave us?
Well, maybe this is the way a life goes, but still - we'd wish for more to get a perfect film. Still, there's lots to enjoy here. Maybe even scenes you'll remember for a long time. Gosh - I'd really wish this film could have made it all the way. If you enjoy a fun story, and love punk, you'll get much out of this. But it's not all feel-good. There's too much seriousness lying behind too make this innocent fun.
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