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Tori Butler Hart
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Henrik Ruben Genz
The German illusionist Dirk Ohm arrives in Grong in a rural part of Norway on an ice cold winters day, and gets involved in a case of searching after a disappeared woman, in whom he falls in love with. The film tells a fictional story about the last days of the real illusionist Dirk Ohm, which mysteriously disappeared himself in Grong in 2003. The story is inspired by what might have happened before he went missing, and ask the question on what is an illusion, and what is not. Written by
A tricky poetic mystery of disappearance and loneliness
First of all. Don't watch this if you like your films to be easy, or light explainable. Don't watch it if you are in need for action and "open and shut cases". because this film is neither.
Bobby Peers won the Cannes film festival for his short "Sniffer" which was strange and different. His first feature are the same. Strange and different. This Twin Peaksy story about a lonely man feeling lonely and maybe also depressive thoughts is based upon the factual events of the real illusionist Dirk Ohm which went missing after leaving his car in this very area of Norway. The story about the missing girl in the same area is also a fact. Upon these facts, a fictional story is spun about his thoughts after being saved from his first suicide attempt.
In danger of having misinterpreted the whole thing, this little mystery plays around with you s a viewer. You are drawn into the narrative.
The German illusionist Dirk Ohm, well depicted by August Diehl, is found almost frozen to death in his car in a faltered suicide attempt. At first they tow in his car, and then finds him, after having bashed in the frozen window in the closed car door. After waiting to have it fixed, he stays at the rural Grong Hotel where he pays by entertaining with his illusionist show. This goes well, until he starts reacting to a missing girl, Maria, which the whole community is affected by. Ohm is also drawn into it, like one is with those kind of things.
So the mysteries grow, and Ohm starts believing he not only knows the girl, but that he talks to her. Has he met her. Can he "see" things? More shouldn't be said, but if you find this intriguing, and are not too afraid of watching sow and mystical films, this might be right up your alley.
There are great things in this film, poetically, as well as the film is beautifully shot in a wintery Grong up in the middle of Norway. The acting is good, though I can't help thinking that Maria, played by Danish Sara Hjort Ditlevsen is a miscast. Not because she doesn't play well; she dos. But because her English is obvious Danish-English. And why, when she is supposed to be a Norwegian daughter of Norwegian parents? (Though the mother is played by Swedish Alexandrra Rappaport.) I Find this the film's weakest point.
I also think the film could have earned a lot on building more up on the mysteries, being a bit more like Twin Peaks, and less poetic. I guess a lot of watchers will hate the film for it's tenderness and understatements. The humour isn't that funny, the violence isn't that violent, the mystery isn't that mysterious and so on. Everyone is too kind, too stupid, too odd... well, as I said strange.
I ended up liking the film just as much as I hated it. It's a difficult film both to comprehend and to understand, though it's not difficult to watch or to put your own feelings into.
For most this film will be a love/hate relationship. Either you enjoy, nor you are bored, or you like what you see, though not the entire content.
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