Friday, December 03, 2010

Hævnen / In a Better World

Kosto / Hämnden. DK / SE © 2010 Zentropa Entertainment 16 Aps. P: Sisse Graum Jørgensen. D: Susanne Bier. SC: Susanne Bier, Anders Thomas Jensen. DP: Morten Søborg. PD: Peter Grant. COST: Manon Rasmussen. Makeup: Charlotte Laustsen. S: Anne Jensen, Eddie Simonsen. ED: Pernille Bech Christensen, Morten Egholm. CAST: Mikael Persbrandt (Anton), Trine Dyrholm (Marianne), Ulrich Thomsen (Claus), William Jøhnk Nielsen (Christian), Markus Rygaard (Elias). 114 min. Original in English, Danish, and Swedish. A Bio Rex Distribution release with Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Anitra Paukkula / Sophie Beckman-De-La-Riva. A 35 mm screening at Kinopalatsi 8, Helsinki, 3 Dec 2010.

Three strong stories united by the theme of revenge, its futility and destructiveness. Anton is a doctor in Kenya, where he faces the atrocities against pregnant women by a local crime lord called Big Man. His son Elias is a victim of brutal school bullying. Anton is also being stupidly insulted by a local car mechanic. Christian invents an outrageous revenge plan with potentially catastrophic results.

Susanne Bier is at her best in this gripping story which presents fundamental ethical questions in an original way. Among my favourite scenes is the one at school where the teachers evade responsibility and insinuate that the parents are to blame for their son being bullied at school. I know these things happen with potentially life-long damage to the victims.

A digital intermediate look, but not of the worst kind.

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