The main criticism I've seen towards this film is that it has a detached approach, but I thought it worked wonders here, surprisingly. Thing is, you can handle a story about night life in two ways: by focusing on the frenzy and excitement, that ephemeral state of euphoria non-stop party and excess will do to you, and that's probably what most films of this kind do, and thus have little lasting power beyond the final credits. Or you can go for that other feeling often associated with such activity, which is one of emotional vacuum, of estrangement and low mood, which is more profound and permanent. This is what Løve is going for and succeeds in portraying: the life of someone who wants to be a DJ at all costs, and stick to it throughout the years, while knowing he won't be able to afford living like that. So he often feels unsatisfied and lacking in some kind of deeper personal realization.
On the other hand, those around him do move forward, in one way or another, and so his relationships with all of them reach some kind of closure, making it even more depressing to him that in over a decade he pretty much hasn't gotten anywhere, hasn't really grown up nor learned anything from when he was a teen. An adequately long runtime, encompassing various states of the main character's life and various locations to where his work takes him, also contribute in making his frustrating journey so believable. Technically the film is a marvel, moving so naturally, so organically, from one sequence to the next, from one set piece to another, with a flow that is obviously aided by a powerful and almost constant soundtrack. If you like house music, it's pretty much guaranteed you'll love this film. But it has a lot of other qualities that really make it worth watching. I hope those of you who haven't seen it do soon.
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