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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.
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