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I was not sure about watching this film, but like usual ignoring the critics made me realise how much it was underrated. From the director of the Oscar winning film 'In a Better World'. After that great feat which ignited her international career, quite did not go well accordingly, including one project in the Hollywood. So she went back and made this Danish thriller-drama. Very strongly written screenplay, but feels it has flaws and then on its progress, they had all patched so brilliantly to make you think yourself you had got so wrong. It was not based on any book, but looks it could make one fine.
This is a story of 'the good' and 'the bad', and when 'the good' turns very bad, what would 'the bad' decide to do. A decent middle class couple who can do anything for their newborn child and another couple who are drug addicts whose newborn was completely neglected. When the tragedy strike in one of these families, the nightmare begins for another. A series of events follows where they all go for an extra mile to get a second chance. So see it to believe what people are capable when they are in the desperate situation.
Like the title and its tagline indicating, the narration carefully and intensely built the plot in the first act. That is the part you have to be watchful to learn the characters which is obviously a bit slower than the rest of the film. In the second half where it all turns to one direction to move on with a couple of quick twists. Totally unpredictable stuffs, because they were silly or maybe kind of familiar and you won't expect that to happen, but it does. I think that was the very clever, beside the powerful performance had brought a good balance between the pace and the contents of the film.
"People look different when they are dead. That's just how it is."
It did not win any big awards internationally or contended for the Oscars, but still the film is worth a watch. No matter what the critics say, this is one of the best films of the year. Like I said the story might look stupid in the paper, but the filmmakers stunning presented it on the screen. I won't be surprised if an improvised versions were made in other languages including Hollywood. After those fine progress it made in the middle part, the conclusion was somewhat ordinary. It suddenly skips a couple of years forward with one final short scene before the credits roll up which will make us feel good. That was a nice way to end after the shock the narration had given to us.
From the actors, Nikolaj Coaster-Wakdau was the screenpace ruler and did not fail to deliver. If this film is winning an award means he should be on the top of the list from the film followed by the direction and screenplay. In one of the film posters he just looks alike the current James Bond, the film was a lot better than the impression the posters give. His co-stars were not bad either.
There is sentiment in it, but not that effective, so the lack of melodrama is the big drawback. A theme like this should have bettered that part in order to make the overall film even better. Because the characters do not count when the subject it dealing with was has much higher priority. So the viewers always would be busy looking for what might happen to the story rather thinking its characters all the time. And that is because of the neutrality. Like I said before when 'the good' is as bad as 'the bad' it become, then everything end in an equal position and you might stop backing anyone particularly. There are many films like this, but this is kind of refreshing and very realistic. Definitely, I must end my review recommending it. So I hope you all enjoy it as I did.
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